After a couple months of relative quiet, the proposed new Chicago USL team is back on the radar.
Sterling Bay, the Chicago developers who spearheaded the bid to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to town, have launched a new website to generate hype over what will apparently be a new professional soccer team in Chicago. The website not only confirms that the team play in the USL— and not in MLS as a competitor to, or replacement for, the Chicago Fire— but they seem to have a target for their inaugural season.
.@USL soccer is coming to Chicago's @LincolnYards and we need your help. Come up with a team name for a chance to win season tickets for 2020! #nameon #uslsoccer https://t.co/uVERJT8NXN pic.twitter.com/TyJ2KzYbRv— Sterling Bay (@sterlingbay) February 15, 2018
The website invites users to submit ideas for a new team name. (Apparently no one at Sterling Bay was “Chicago Wind” or “Chicago River.”) Contest entrants will apparently have a chance to win season tickets to the new team’s first season— 2020.
The site also features a countdown clock that began at midnight last night and will expire in 90 days. The date it’s counting down to would be Thursday, May 17th. One can only assume that some sort of big unveiling announcement will happen on that day.
There’s a brief mention of youth soccer programs, along with an invitation to sign up for email notifications to learn more.
Finally, the website names the Lincoln Yards development as the site for the new team. There’s a link to a site specifically for the proposal, which boasts a number of assets and amenities (like residential and retail space, riverfront access, an expansion of the 606 trail and a rebuilt, and relocated Metra station) but, interestingly, no mention of an Amazon facility. There’s also only one mention of the stadium, which tells users to send an email to email@example.com for more info on that.
Given the glossy and official-looking websites, the copy on the Lincoln Yards site, and the desire to get the team on the pitch in two years, it’s entirely possible that Sterling Yards are ready to move forward with their plans for the area and for the new soccer team regardless of what happens with Amazon. And if that’s true, then there’s a pretty good chance this thing is going to happen.
Then again, the Chicago NASL project had a shiny website and a team naming contest too.
At press time, Sterling Bay did not return our request for comment. We will update this post if and when they get back to us.