A New Stadium and Pro Team for Chicago?

Following up on all the ballyhoo surrounding every city in North America getting down on one knee begging Amazon.com to go to the prom, or at least locate its second headquarters in their town, the Chicago Tribune published an article titled “Amazon Stadium? Chicago developer hopes it’s the ticket to HQ2.”

Rendering of Amazon.com Stadium.  Not as terrible a name as the KFC Yum! Center.  Or Talking Stick Resort Arena. Or Guaranteed Rate Field. (Sterling Bay)

Rendering of Amazon.com Stadium. Not as terrible a name as the KFC Yum! Center. Or Talking Stick Resort Arena. Or Guaranteed Rate Field. (Sterling Bay)

Inside that story was this bit of information from developer Sterling Bay, which is putting naming rights to a new stadium on its silver platter:

“Sterling Bay is currently engaged in active discussions with the city of Chicago, professional sports leagues and international entertainment production companies to partner on the development and operations of this venue.”

Wait… what?

Is Sterling Bay really trying to bring another professional sports team to Chicago to inhabit a new stadium in its Lincoln Yards project where Finkl Steel used to be on Goose Island?  Or is this just the kind of puffery that real estate companies play? Like hinting that every retail project, no matter how small or unlikely, will have an Apple Store.

Chicagoland already has professional baseball, basketball, hockey, women’s basketball, and softball.  So what’s left?

The National Lacrosse League recently expanded to Philadelphia and San Diego, so that’s a possibility.  And Major League Rugby is scheduled to launch next year, so maybe that’s what Sterling has a shine for.

Or is it possible that the developer wants to poach a team from one of their current homes?  It seems nothing is sacred this year, so imagine the White Sox becoming the second north side team.  Or the Blackhawks coming closer to downtown.  Considering all the development money the Ricketts family  just sank into Wrigleyville, it’s probably safe to say the Cubbies aren’t going anywhere.

So unless cricket is about to explode in Chicago in a big way, we’re stumped to figure out what sports league could be in play.  If you have any ideas, let us know below.




Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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  1. Left off the Chicago Fire, which is probably the next biggest after NFL, NHL, and NBA in the city. Also, the photo clearly is a soccer field in the rendering.

    The Fire stadium in Bridgeview is from a location-wise opposite to what all the other thriving teams in MLS are doing (urban locations to capture younger/millenial enthusiasm). Bridgeview was a great idea in the early 2000s when MLS was targeting suburban mini-van soccer families. The league has grown rapidly by focusing on urban millenials (Seattle, Portland, Orlando, etc.).

    Wouldn’t be surprised if they were trying to figure out a way to get the Fire to come to the city and get them out of Bridgeview, but the Fire has spent a lot of money on facilities out there so it likely won’t happen.

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    • Editor

      You’re right — I’m not sure how I didn’t mention the Fire. I was thinking about that team as I was writing the piece and intended to include a line about how Toyota Park is such a nice facility that there’s no reason to leave it. But then, maybe a downtown stadium is something the owners are interested in. BBVA Compass Stadium has done great things for downtown Houston.

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    • There have been rumors the Fire is unhappy with the Bridgeview location and have been exploring ways to get back to the city. Who knows what conversations have been had but that rendering looks awfully close to what the fire could use.

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  2. Don’t forget soccer. And hosting high school, college and international tournaments. And Olympic events some day. And concerts. If they’re smart and put a dome over it then they’re really in business.

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  3. What about another football team ? Daley tried to get the saints to come to Chicago and Rham as of two years ago was trying to bring another football team . Remember Rham is close friends with Roger Godell

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