Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts leads takeover of NWSL’s Red Stars… as $60m sale is approved by board
- Cubs chief Laura Ricketts is also a minority owner of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky
- The Red Stars are currently at the bottom of the NWSL table with 17 points
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The National Women’s Soccer League has formally approved the sale of the Chicago Red Stars to a new ownership group led by Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs.
The league’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the $60million deal Friday.
Ricketts and her family have owned the Cubs since 2009. She is also a minority owner of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.
The new Red Stars ownership group also includes Debra Cafaro, chairman and CEO of Ventas and a partner in the Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group; Impact Engine CEO Jessica Droste Yagan; Laura Desmond, chair and CEO of smartly.io; Sidney Dillard, a partner at Chicago´s Loop Capital; and others.
‘Collectively, we are committed to empowering our great athletes, rewarding our loyal fans, and continuing to build on the NWSL´s exponential growth,’ Ricketts said in an open letter to fans Friday.
The NWSL has approved the sale of the Chicago Red Stars to a group led by Laura Ricketts
Ricketts and her family also hold ownership stakes in the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Sky
‘We are in the early days of the work of building a championship organization on and off the pitch.’
The Red Stars were put up for sale in December by owner Arnim Whisler, who faced criticism from fans and players stemming from a misconduct and abuse scandal that rocked the league in 2021.
Chicago coach Rory Dames, who was accused of verbal and emotional abuse, resigned and was subsequently banned from the league.
Commissioner Jessica Berman hailed the ‘new chapter’ for the Red Stars.
The Red Stars currently sit in last place in the NWSL standings with only 17 points
‘These talented and accomplished owners, successful in business, sports, and leaders in the Chicago community, are committed to investing the resources necessary to take the Chicago Red Stars to the next level and enable the NWSL to continue our collective growth,’ Berman said in a statement.
The Red Stars sit bottom of the NWSL table with 17 points from 17 games. The team’s current record is 5-10-2. They also have a -19 goal difference.
Although this now gives the Ricketts ownership in yet another Chicago sports team the acquisition of the Red Stars is not the family’s first attempt at acquiring a soccer team.
The family led a consortium that attempted to buy English Premier League giants Chelsea recently. However the club was eventually bought by a group led by Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali.