Professional rugby expands to Midwest with new team, the Chicago Hounds

The team's home opener at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview will be on Sunday, March 4 vs the Utah Warriors.

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Thursday, November 17, 2022
Major League Rugby expands with new MLR team, the Chicago Hounds
Players, coaches and management describe it as a fast-paced, adrenaline-inducing sport made for the Midwest.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Players, coaches and management describe it as a fast-paced, adrenaline-inducing sport made for the Midwest.

"Take all of your favorite aspects of football, the contact, basketball, the skills play, soccer, the continual motion and movement, hockey, the fast-paced back and forth. And it really has all of that," said Matthew Satchwell, Chicago Hounds investor.

Satchwell said all of that is coming to Chicago with the first-ever Major League Rugby team for the city: The Chicago Hounds.

"A hounds head embodies the spirit of Chicago, with strength, guts, and ferocity. The six-pointed star pays homage to the Chicago flag and our city's storied history," said James English, Chicago MLR CEO.

English said this is the beginning of a new era for the city and for Rugby in North America.

"Rugby players don't wear pads but the basic tenets of the game are very similar, so if you like American football and you like that kind of combat sport, you like physicality, then you're going to like rugby," said George Killebrew, Major League Rugby commissioner.

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The Hounds new home will be SeatGeek stadium in Bridgeview. That's welcome news to one of the new players on the team, Paddy Ryan, who has 50 family members who live in the Chicago area already.

"The biggest thing for American people, they love hard hitting and they love to go and have fun at games. And the biggest thing with rugby is go out, have a good bit of fun with your mates and have a couple of drinks," he said.

Ryan and head coach Sam Harris are eager to introduce themselves to the city and grow the sport before the Rugby World Cup comes to the U.S. in 2031.

"We will have some good foreign talent that will add to this group, but this team will be about American talent and growing American talent," Harris said.

The team's home opener at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview will be on Sunday, March 4 vs the Utah Warriors.