Chicago Fire Football Club has scored a win in its bid to build a controversial training facility.
The team announced on its website earlier today that, as part of a long-term lease, it will finance a new 53,000-square-foot facility, while also providing $8 million funding toward the Chicago Housing Authority in support of the agency’s affordable-housing initiative. The Fire will also create outdoor recreation spaces for the West Side community as part of the agreement. Construction for the new facility is set to begin later this spring.
The lease will generate more than $40 million in revenue for the Chicago area over the next 40 years, which can be used to fund housing projects.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot voiced her approval of the new facility and noted that the millions of dollars in rental income stemming from the project will aid in efforts to increase affordable housing in the community.
Although the project sounds like a win for everyone, the new facility has sparked concerns among locals.
Affordable housing advocates believe the 23-acre site, bounded by Roosevelt Road, Ashland Avenue, 14th Street and Loomis Street, should be used exclusively for mixed or low-income housing, reported WGN9. The Chicago Housing Initiative Coalition’s executive director, Don Washington, said this plan will displace 17,000 people.
The project is estimated to cost $85-$95 million, the outlet reported. The new facility will feature a two-story performance center, two-and-a-half hybrid grass pitches and three synthetic turf pitches. The turf pitches will have an insulated dome to protect it from harsh conditions from November to March each year.