Second pro soccer team for Chicago?
A team of investors is working to see if Chicago is big enough for a second men's professional soccer team.
Former Chicago Fire general manager Peter Wilt announced Monday he is resigning as president of Indy Eleven of the second-division North American Soccer League to develop a new NASL team in Chicago. The Fire competes in first-division Major League Soccer out of Toyota Park in southwest suburban Bridgeview.
"I think it's needed," Wilt said of the new club. "A lot of it's a projection. I think there's a lot of people in the city of Chicago that aren't going to professional soccer games because there isn't a team in the city."
Wilt has a lot of experience getting soccer clubs started. He was the first GM of the Fire and also helped start Indy Eleven and the women's club Chicago Red Stars.
Wilt is a member of the Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame and was the Daily Herald's Naperville Person of the Year in 2002 when the Fire played at North Central College while Soldier Field was being renovated.
A Fire spokesman said the Fire has no comment for now on the new club.
It's rumored the new club will be called the Chicago Sting, rekindling memories for longtime Chicago soccer fans of the old Chicago Sting that won championships in the old NASL in the 1980s, though Wilt said a name hasn't been chosen.
The club will play somewhere within the Chicago city limits, possibly Soldier Field to start, Wilt said. He hopes to begin play in 2017.
Wilt said the team won't settle for being second rate, even if U.S. Soccer considers it second division.
"I think it's important that the team is built as the highest level of soccer possible in this country," he said.