Chicago Red Stars to play at Wrigley Field this year, spurring talks of own stadium, equity

After seeing Bears, Sox solicit public funding to help build new stadiums, Red Stars working on getting piece of pie

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Chicago Red Stars to play at Wrigley Field this year
The Chicago Red Stars, who play at SeatGeek Stadium, will have a game at Wrigley Field this year, spurring talk of their own stadium and equity.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Red Stars women's soccer team will play a game at Wrigley Field this June.

This is leading to conversations about a new stadium for the team and equity for women's sports.

Chicago's undefeated women's professional soccer team plays most of its home games at a stadium built for soccer, with 28,000 seats in Bridgeview. But it is not their home.

"We don't have priority there. We're kind of relegated to seconds or thirds. So it's not ideal. It affects performance," Red Stars owner Laura Ricketts said.

Ricketts and her sibling own the Chicago Cubs, which have a pretty iconic stadium to themselves.

The Red Stars announced they will play a game at Wrigley field in June, giving the team greater visibility.

Two other teams also play home games at SeatGeek Stadium, a village-owned facility.

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"We get kicked out on a timeline. You have these elite women's soccer players, who have to leave when the boy's team comes in to use their facility," Red Stars President Karen Leetzow said.

After seeing the Chicago Bears and White Sox last month solicit public funding to help build new stadiums, the Red Stars are now working on getting a piece of the pie, as well.

While they have no solid plans for a new stadium at this point, they want to be part of the discussion.

"Equity demands we have a seat at the table, and maybe at the front of the line. We've never received public funding in the past," Leetzow said.

Some lawmakers agree, and say they are open to the idea.

"Funding for stadiums has to be predicated on equity," said Kam Bucker, a Democratic representative for Illinois' 26th District.

When the Red Stars play, it will be the first professional women's sporting event at Wrigley since women's baseball in 1943.

It will be the first women's soccer game there.

And while Wrigley Field is taken, the Red Stars are hoping it will help in their effort to get their own stadium.