Chicago’s Newest Professional Soccer Team Makes Chicago Southland’s SeatGeek Stadium Home
By Katie Arvia published March 04, 2021
Bridgeview, Ill. – The new Chicago House Athletic Club (NISA) professional soccer team announced it will play its home games at Chicago Southland’s SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois beginning late this summer when the National Independent Soccer Association’s 2021-22 season begins. Chicago House AC President/CEO Peter Wilt and Village of Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a multi-year agreement.
“This is welcome news for soccer fans throughout Chicagoland who want to watch their team play in an intimate venue built to showcase their favorite sport, and it is welcome news for the residents of the Village of Bridgeview,” Mayor Landek said. “SeatGeek Stadium is a great platform for high level professional soccer and I’m thrilled the Chicago House AC club will play here.”
SeatGeek Stadium opened in 2006 as the home of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire and added the Chicago Red Stars (NWSL) in 2009. The Fire departed after the 2019 season and the Red Stars continue to play home games at SeatGeek Stadium.
“I’m excited to return to Bridgeview,” said Wilt, who also launched the Fire and Red Stars. “SeatGeek Stadium has terrific fan amenities, sightlines built for soccer, and offers affordable parking conducive to tailgating for fans. We considered several venues, polled soccer fans online, and were convinced SeatGeek Stadium is the best venue for a pro soccer team in Chicagoland,” Wilt continued.
The Chicago House Athletic Club plays in NISA, a third division professional soccer league with plans to add a second and even a first division to its open system pyramid in the future. “SeatGeek Stadium is a venue we can grow into,” Wilt said. “We don’t expect to fill the 20,000 seats every game initially, but we don’t expect to remain a third division club for long either. NISA offers us the hope, and indeed expectation, to climb the American professional soccer ladder via the meritocracy offered by promotion and relegation.”
The Chicago House Athletic Club recently announced Chicago soccer legend CJ Brown as the new team’s first head coach and technical director. Brown was drafted by the Chicago Fire in 1998, helping the team win the MLS cup in the same year. Brown also was inducted into the Chicago Fire’s Ring of Fire in 2012 and earned 15 caps with the US Men’s National Team.
The team’s official name, the Chicago House Athletic Club, pays tribute to the city’s music, arts and cultural image throughout the world. It recognizes being a home for everyone who loves and identifies with the city and its future.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Chicago House Athletic Club to the Chicago Southland,” said Jim Garrett, President/CEO of the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This organization will be an excellent addition to Bridgeview. I am confident fans will wholeheartedly support the Chicago House Athletic Club and will be ecstatic to have another local team to root for.”
ABOUT CHICAGO HOUSE AC
Founded in 2020, Chicago House Athletic Club (formerly Chicago NISA) is a community-based professional soccer team which will begin play at the 20,000 capacity SeatGeek Stadium at 71st and Harlem in Bridgeview, Illinois next fall. The team will compete in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA,) a U.S. Soccer sanctioned third division league. Led by Managing Partner, President & CEO Peter Wilt, Chicago House AC is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) committed to transparency and working with its constituents to use its platform for social justice, diversity, equality, inclusion and community improvement.
ABOUT SEATGEEK STADIUM
SeatGeek Stadium is the heart of soccer for much of the Midwest and a must-see destination for world-class concerts and other sporting events. Each year more than a half million people go by the stadium’s trademark brick arch, many achieving or reliving what has become a rite of passage for sports and music fans alike. Since opening its doors in 2006, SeatGeek Stadium has treated fans to sporting events of all calibers from around the world and is the proud home of the Chicago House Athletic Club (NISA) and the Chicago Red Stars (NWSL). SeatGeek Stadium’s expansive parking lots are also the site of many festivals, carnivals, multi-stage concerts and other special events. The stadium can seat 20,000 for sporting events and 28,000 for concerts, featuring 34 executive suites plus six stage suites (available for sporting events). SeatGeek Stadium is located at 7000 South Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, Illinois.
The National Independent Soccer Association was founded in 2017 with a mission to bring professional soccer to every city in the United States. A pro league member of U.S. Soccer, NISA focuses on a model based on meritocracy, independent clubs controlling their own league, clubs owning their intellectual property, all without the barrier of territorial rights. Sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation, NISA also runs the mid-summer pro-am Independent Cup tournament, the year-long amateur league NISA Nation, and NISA Media. For more information about NISA visit NISAOfficial.com or contact at [email protected]. Follow NISA on Twitter @NISALeague and on Instagram @nisasoccer.
The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination management and marketing organization for Chicago’s 60 south and southwest suburbs. The Chicago Southland CVB nationally markets and sells the Chicago Southland region as a destination for meetings and conventions, group tour, sports events and leisure travel. For more information, go to VisitChicagoSouthland.com.