Chicago Red Stars sold to group led by Cubs, Sky co-owner Laura Ricketts, pending league approval

A group of Chicago business leaders led by Laura Ricketts has agreed in principle to purchase the National Women’s Soccer League’s Chicago Red Stars.

According to a press release, a “diverse group of Chicago women business and civic leaders” have agreed to buy the team, with Ricketts leading the way in the purchasing process.

“I am honored to lead this group of Chicago business and civic leaders in our effort to purchase the Chicago Red Stars,” Ricketts said in a statement. “Our respective backgrounds in professional sports, finance, turnaround management, commercial real estate, marketing and advertising, paired with our deep community ties, make for a powerful combination that will serve us well in our ultimate goal: building a championship organization on and off the pitch.”

Ricketts is also the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, and is a minority owner of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.

She was joined in the endeavor by numerous high-profile members of the business and sports community, including Debra Cafaro, CEO of Ventas and a partner in the ownership of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Sideny Dillard, a partner at Chicago’s Loop Capital, also joined the ownership group, as did TAWANI Enterprises CEO Jennifer Pritzker and Impact Engine CEO Jessica Droste Yagan, among others.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the ownership group hopes to finalize the sale after approval from the NWSL Board of Governors.

“We wholeheartedly believe in, and are excited about, the future of the Red Stars and the NWSL,” Ricketts said. “There is unprecedented fan growth in women’s soccer globally, and we want to be part of building that momentum here in Chicago.”

The Red Stars joined the NWSL in 2013. Playing their home games at SeatGeek Stadium in suburban Bridgeview, the club has made the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons, including trips to the championship game in 2019 and 2021.

Samantha Kerr, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press are among the famed players who have donned the Red Stars’ shirt over the course of the club’s history.

Currently, U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher represents the club in the NWSL, and represented her country in the 2023 World Cup.

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