Chicago USL Stadium Removed from Lincoln Yards Plan

Chicago USL stadium rendering

With the concept rejected by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian HopkinsSterling Bay will remove a Chicago USL stadium plan from its Lincoln Yards proposal. 

Developer Sterling Bay has been leading the proposed mixed-use development Lincoln Yards, a sprawling $5 billion-plus project between Chicago’s Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. One of the major components of the concept called for a new stadium and entertainment district, with the 20,000-seat facility hosting a Chicago-based club in USL Championship–the Division II circuit under the USL umbrella–that had Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts as its majority owner. In addition, Live Nation was to run as many as five venues in the surrounding entertainment district.

The concept had run into some public opposition, however, and Hopkins announced Tuesday that he has rejected the proposed stadium/entertainment complex portion of the project. Sterling Bay says it is removing the stadium from its master plan, and will scrap the venues backed by Live Nation and instead look to incorporate smaller venues throughout the development. More from the Chicago Tribune:

“Sterling Bay has work to do today,” Hopkins said. “I’m not offering any support for this planned development yet. What I’m doing today is saying what I won’t support. I’m giving Sterling Bay guidance based on the public input we’ve had.”

There are no conversations about scaling down the size of the soccer stadium or in any way reviving the stadium plan later, Hopkins said.

“While much of the feedback has been positive, Alderman Hopkins and residents have been very clear: they do not want a stadium,” Sterling Bay spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said in a statement. “And we want to say: we heard you loud and clear. We have removed the stadium and broken up the entertainment district, allowing for assorted smaller venues throughout Lincoln Yards where all independent music operators will have the opportunity to participate.”

On Monday, Hopkins emailed his constituents with results of a survey that he said showed 53 percent of 870 respondents opposed the soccer stadium, 25 percent were unsure and 23 percent supported it.

Ricketts’ involvement was revealed with much intrigue in May of last year, but Sterling Bay now appears to be moving on from the idea of including a new stadium in its Lincoln Yards proposal. A Ricketts’ family spokesman provided the following statement to The Tribune:

“The Ricketts family’s potential involvement was focused on the soccer team and contingent on city approvals,” family spokesman Dennis Culloton said…. “While we are disappointed the concept is no longer included in the master plan, we understand the ambitious Lincoln Yards project needs to move forward.”

A revised master plan is expected to be released at a later date.

Rendering courtesy Sterling Bay. 

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