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On November 21, 2017, the Chicago Tribune reported that developer Sterling Bay had bought a USL Championship expansion team to play in its planned sports and entertainment stadium along the Chicago River, with the goal of beginning play in the 2021 season.[1] The stadium was previously mentioned as part of Sterling Bay's bid to bring Amazon's second headquarters to Chicago. A spokesperson for Sterling Bay confirmed that the stadium being built is not contingent on Amazon coming to Chicago, it will happen regardless.[2] The stadium would be located in the Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago, approximately two miles from Wrigley Field, on the former site of the A. Finkl & Sons Steel Plant.[3]

USL Chicago
FoundedNovember 21, 2017; 21 months ago (2017-11-21)
StadiumLincoln Yards Stadium
OwnerSterling Bay
LeagueUSL Championship

According to the Tribune's story, the stadium would seat 20,000 and feature a retractable roof, in order to attract other events such as international soccer matches, college football, college basketball and concerts. Rugby and lacrosse were also named in documentation sent by Sterling Bay. Sterling Bay has also yet to present formal plans and still needs to gain zoning approval.

In May 2018, the league announced that Chicago Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts would take majority ownership of the franchise.[4][5] Alderman Brian K. Hopkins, in whose ward the Lincoln Yards stadium was to be constructed, blocked the approval of the venue, which led to the removal of the planned stadium from the master plan of Lincoln Yards.[6] Subsequent to this, Ricketts abandoned his involvement with the team.[6]


  1. ^ Ori, Ryan (November 21, 2017). "United Soccer League expansion team coming to North Side site proposed for Amazon's HQ2". Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "What does Tom Ricketts' ownership of a USL expansion team in Chicago mean for the Fire?". Chicago Tribune. May 10, 2018.
  4. ^ United Soccer League
  5. ^ Rollins, Khandice (May 9, 2018). "Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts Buying Stake in New Chicago USL Team". Sports Illustrated.
  6. ^ a b Carp, Sam. "Cubs owner Tom Ricketts steps away from Chicago USL franchise". SportsPro Media. Retrieved April 16, 2019.

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