After key internal meetings which took place in June, it seems Peter Wilt's dream of an NASL team in Chicago is to be on hold for a while due to a reported "Lack of a venue agreement", according to comments Wilt made on Bigsoccer.
On Wilt's "Build Chicago NASL" survey, Soldier field, Wrigley field, and US Cellular field were the venues suggested as options. These venues seem to meet the criteria Wilt has discussed for his team's venue:
Inside the city limits of Chicago at a first class professional venue that can accommodate soccer and provide fans with an outstanding experience, accessible by public transit.
However, some question the viability of paying the expenses of renting such a large facility, given the limited revenue of your average NASL side. Wilt seems to be willing to accept the initial losses in return for greater relevance in the community, saying
Tickets drive all revenue streams. If we are successful in driving paid attendance over five figures, the club's other revenue streams will all expand and open up more revenue. We will work to engage a broad base of support who we hope will promote the team through their own networks, have positive experiences with the club and grow the fan base organically.
Regardless, the venue issue is certainly disappointing. Especially since we've all seen firsthand how failure to secure a quality venue has hamstrung the growth of the Cosmos. Nonetheless, Wilt is one of the most trusted names in American soccer, and he has demonstrated an understanding of the practical necessities of running a club. Here's hoping a stadium deal that works for both sides can be sorted out yet.