The efforts of Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts to build a 20,000 seat soccer-specific-stadium to host a new USL franchise have been rejected. The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins sent an email to constituents informing them of the rejection. The stadium was to be part of a larger entertainment complex at the Lincoln Yards complex being developed by Sterling Bay.
Failure to win city approval has led the Cubs owners to abandon interest in owning the USL club. “The Ricketts family’s potential involvement was focused on the soccer team and contingent on city approvals,” family spokesman Dennis Culloton told The Tribune. “While we are disappointed the concept is no longer included in the masterplan, we understand the ambitious Lincoln Yards project needs to move forward.”
USL has indicated they remain committed to the Chicago market even without the Ricketts’ involvement. Sterling Bay remains committed to the club and delivering a stadium. “We remain committed to bringing a USL franchise to downtown Chicago,” USL spokesperson Ryan Madden told The Tribune.
The Chicago USL club is slated to begin play in 2021.