An ownership group led by Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and minority owner of the Chicago Sky, agreed to purchase the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars. The Ricketts and the NWSL confirmed the sale in subsequent press releases but the deal is still pending and requires approval by the NWSL Board of Governors.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the club is believed to be worth up to $35.5 million, according to Sports Business Journal. Washington Spirit sold for $35 million in early 2022.
A statement said that Ricketts was joined by “a diverse group of Chicago businesswomen and civic leaders” in the acquisition of the club.
“We believe deeply in the future of the Red Stars and the National Basketball Championship and are thrilled about it,” Ricketts added in the statement. “There is unprecedented growth in female soccer fans globally, and we want to be a part of building on that momentum here in Chicago.”
This last streak, combined with Ricketts’ ties to Chicago, likely means the club will remain in its current city. Ricketts and her family bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and are Become a minority owner From the WNBA’s Sky on June 6, 2023.
In another statement, the National Judicial Police Association called the group “extraordinary leaders.”
This appears to end the saga around the Red Stars that began when former coach Rory Dames resigned in 2021 following allegations of emotional abuse by players. Then-owner Arnim Whisler later agreed to sell the team after he was fired as president when the NWSL launched its investigations into systemic misconduct around the league. The Red Stars were fined the most of any team – $1.5 million – and Dames was permanently banned from the league, along with three other coaches, after the NWSL ended its investigation in January.
Chicago currently sits 11th in the NWSL standings with 16 points. The list includes two stars of the US women’s national team, including goalkeeper Alyssa Naher and forward Mallory Swanson.