A few weeks ago we asked our dear readers to speculate which professional sport might occupy the proposed Amazon.com Stadium at Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards development.
According to your feedback, soccer was the most logical option, with some people speculating that maybe the Chicago Fire might seek to leave southwest suburban Toyota Stadium.
Now the Chicago Tribune has the goods. It turns out you were right about the sport, but not the team. According to the Trib, Sterling Bay has purchased an expansion team for the United Soccer League, which it hopes will start kicking balls on the north side in 2020. Since Sterling Bay owns the team, it should happen whether Amazon locates its coveted HQ2 at the former Finkl Steel site, or not.
USL soccer is professional soccer, but one notch below Major League Soccer. So don’t expect the Fire to vacate Bridgeview anytime soon. If you’re looking for a regional rivalry, the nearest USL teams are in Saint Louis, Louisville, and Cincinnati.
According to Wikipedia, the stadium should seat 20,000 people.
Real estate developers starting or purchasing non-real estate companies to act as anchors for their developments is fairly common in Asia, but somewhat new in the United States. For something similar, look at Related, which at one time was widely believed to be interested in purchasing the Neiman Marcus department store chain to make sure its big-name flagship store didn’t bail on the multi-billion dollar Hudson Yards development in New York.