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‘I’m not daunted’: Familiar challenges await new Red Stars owner Ricketts

The Chicago Cubs co-owner led a group purchasing the city’s NWSL team for “up to” $35.5M, with another $25M going into immediate upgrades. Restoring trust with players and fans might be the more difficult task.

Photo credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Red Stars are finally, officially under new ownership after a long process that yielded Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts as the majority owner of a women-led group. The process itself was long, with Ricketts’ initial inquiries about the Red Stars coming last October before the start of a formal sale process. But now comes the hard part: Turning around a franchise struggling on and off the field.

Trust in the club from players and fans has eroded over the past two years, resulting in a roster exodus, and continued struggles to gain traction in the market. Ricketts, in an interview this week with The Equalizer, said she is ready for the work ahead.

“I am not daunted by the challenges that this team faces at all,” Ricketts said. “I’m actually excited about it. I think that there’s just such an opportunity — with every challenge, I always think of a challenge slash opportunity. And there are a lot of them for this team. We are going to immediately bring all that we can there to help turn this team around as soon as possible.”

Ricketts leads a group investing $60 million into the team, with “up to” $35.5 million paid to the former ownership group and the remaining $25 million being immediately invested into the team. Among the immediate priorities for the $25 million going into the team are increased staffing and improvements to training facilities. This is where Ricketts feels her experience can pay off.

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