An investor group headed by Chicago Cubs co-owner and Chicago Sky minority proprietor Laura Ricketts has reached an settlement in precept to purchase the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars, the group introduced on Tuesday.
The Red Stars had been put up on the market by proprietor Arnim Whisler within the wake of the Sally Yates Report, which was revealed in October of 2022, and detailed systemic abuse within the NWSL.
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The report highlighted alleged situations of abuse by former Red Stars supervisor Rory Dames, in addition to Whisler’s failure to handle Dames’ habits.
The Red Stars gamers then launched a press release requesting that Whisler put the crew up on the market, a request that Whisler agreed to two months later.
“Building a championship culture begins with treating our players with the respect they deserve as women and athletes,” Ricketts mentioned. “We look forward to completing this transaction so that we can begin this new chapter for the team and the fans.”
In the announcement, 12 extra buyers had been named.
That group contains: Angela E.L. Barnes, chief authorized officer of IDEO; Traci P. Beck, M.D.; Debra Cafaro, chairman and CEO of Ventas, Inc. and associate within the Pittsburgh Penguins; Laura Desmond, chair and CEO of neatly.io; Sidney Dillard, funding banker and associate at Chicago’s Loop Capital; Megan Murphy, proprietor, LaCrosse Milling Company; Editha Paras, non-profit government; Jennifer Pritzker, president and CEO, TAWANI Enterprises, Inc.; strategic communications marketing consultant Hilary Rosen, and Jessica Droste Yagan, associate and CEO of Impact Engine. Also within the group are entrepreneur Tom O’Reilly and the Engelhardt Family Office.
“I am honored to lead this group of Chicago business and civic leaders in our effort to purchase the Chicago Red Stars,” mentioned Ricketts. “Our respective backgrounds in professional sports, finance, turnaround management, commercial real estate, marketing and advertising, paired with our deep community ties, make for a powerful combination that will serve us well in reaching our ultimate goal: building a championship organization on and off the pitch.
“Laura Ricketts and the proposed new possession group are distinctive leaders and we’re happy with the progress that has been made,” an NWSL spokesperson said in a statement to ESPN.
“A closing sale would require the approval of the NWSL Board of Governors, and we’ll have extra to say if and when that happens.”
The Red Stars have struggled so far this season, and currently sit in 11th place in the 12-team league.
Chicago was also eliminated from the NWSL Challenge Cup after finishing in last place in their four-team group.
“We wholeheartedly consider in and are enthusiastic about the way forward for the Red Stars and the NWSL,” Ricketts said. “There is unprecedented fan progress in girls’s soccer globally, and we wish to be part of constructing on that momentum right here in Chicago.”