Aerial reconnaissance of the location of the new team facility in Chicago


There is a rift within the WNBA, and the rift is due to investment.

Some owner groups are tackling the challenge with unprecedented funding, as evidenced by state-of-the-art facilities and player amenities, forcing other teams to consider the new reality. The reality is that you either need to rise to meet the new standards that are being set, or be prepared to face competitive setbacks.

Sky, which is catching up with teams such as Ace, Storm and Liberty, has made the decision to initiate a site survey for its facilities, suggesting it is keeping up with the times.

“This is the evolution the team goes through, and the league evolves,” Sky principal owner Michael Alter said. “Now is the right time. If I can find the right place and opportunity, I will.”

The team is already on its way to finding suitable opportunities.

Sky coach and general manager James Wade spent time this offseason visiting NBA facilities with Ann Crosby, vice president of basketball operations and strength and conditioning coach. The two also spoke with team executives to hear about the mandatory amenities that should be included in such projects. They visited with the Bulls, 76ers, Celtics, Trail Blazers, Suns and Pacers.

Wade also visited a potential location in Chicago, but didn’t specify which region.

“We’re proud to be Chicago’s Sky, not just Sky,” said Wade. “We will continue to play a key role in our engagement with the community and continue to be a team that represents our city at the highest level.”

Alter said the team’s priority next to meeting players’ needs is to develop facilities that benefit the community in terms of engagement and economic growth.

One aspect that franchise players have voiced dissatisfaction with in the past is the practice setup.

Skye currently trains at the Sachs Recreation Center, a public gym in Deerfield, while the match is being held at Wintrust Arena in the South Loop. League experts strongly believe the facility upgrade will have a positive impact on free agency.

Sky CEO and president Adam Fox said they have a list and continue to identify potential locations in Chicago where the team can get some closer to Wintrust.

“It goes further than just sitting and thinking,” Fox said. “But there isn’t enough distance to put the shovel in the ground from now on.”

Fox didn’t rule out the possibility that the team would rent space in the city.

“We are open to any arrangement that allows us to achieve our goals and objectives of having the facility in the first place,” Fox said.

In addition to team needs and community involvement, Sky needs space to host events, house staff, and hold meetings.

Sachs said Sky has signed a new lease from this winter through the 2024 season. Alter and Fox declined to say when the project will be completed, but it’s likely not before 2025. When asked if the funding for the project would come from within the Sky owning group or from outside investors, Alter said it was unclear. This point.

Sky declined to acknowledge that the competitive advantage the team gained through its investments was a motivating factor in its decision to take this step. But it is arguable that teams without their own facilities will be in a losing battle for years to come.

“For what we have here now in terms of our staff, culture and team, [our own facility] It’s a separation,” Kalea Copper said. “We have to keep up with Mr. and Mrs. Jones. As WNBA players, it’s important that we are taken care of. We’ve been very relaxed about being happy with what we have, but we want more.” This organization is so great that having a facility just for us would make a huge difference.”


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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