Chicago Fire FC, local municipalities and government officials have signed a lease for a new training facility for Chicago’s Major League Soccer team in the Roosevelt Square neighborhood on the Near West Side, the club announced Monday.
The new facility will feature the following for the Fire’s players and staff across the professional and academy levels:
- 53,000-square-foot, two-story performance center
- Two-and-a-half hybrid grass pitches with a hydronic heating system
- Three synthetic turf pitches that will be protected by an insulated dome from November to March each year
Construction on the training facility is anticipated to begin later this spring (2023). The club currently trains at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.
“Being a part of and giving back to Chicago is at the heart of the Chicago Fire Football Club ethos, and we are excited to put down roots on the Near West Side in the Roosevelt Square community,” said Chicago Fire FC owner and chairman Joe Mansueto.
“The development of our new facility will provide a state-of-the-art training environment for our players, coaches, and sporting staff. Our facility will also serve as a community programming home to the next generation of Chicagoans, bringing our city together through the sport of soccer. We look forward to getting underway and continuing our work with local residents on this project.”
As part of the long-term lease agreement, the Fire will finance the development of the multi-million-dollar facility and provide an $8 million community investment to be used for the rehabilitation and preservation of nearby Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) housing and the creation of indoor and outdoor community spaces. Additionally, the Fire will provide long-term employment for community members, resources for minority and women-owned businesses, free sports programming for local youth, community green spaces, and more.
The lease is estimated to generate $40 million in revenue for CHA over the next 40 years, and CHA will use the proceeds to invest in its housing mission, including ABLA Brooks Homes, Loomis Courts, and Williams Jones.
"The Chicago Fire, one of our city's greatest sports teams, deserves to have a high-quality training facility that not only meets their needs but fosters the growth of talented athletes," said Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot.
"This potential new facility will both fulfill this need and provide the surrounding West Side community with job opportunities, recreational activities, and community gathering spaces. Additionally, the millions of dollars in rental income generated by this project will support the CHA's efforts to rehabilitate and build affordable housing in the surrounding areas."
The 23.3-acre site is generally bounded by Roosevelt Road, Ashland Avenue, 14th Street, and Loomis Street. This new location brings the Fire much closer to Chicago’s downtown and their home stadium of Soldier Field.