Peter Wilt tells a UBAM audience about plans for another pro soccer team in Chicago. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Peter Wilt tells a UBAM audience about plans for another pro soccer team in Chicago. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Another pro soccer team in Chicago is in the House

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By Jeff Vorva

Peter Wilt is at it again.

The man who was a huge influence in bringing the Chicago Fire and Chicago Red Stars to the area and helped pioneer other soccer teams in the Midwest, said Chicago is big enough to support another pro team and has hatched the Chicago House Athletic Club, a team that is in the third-division National Independent Soccer League and will play its home games at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.

That’s the same site that on July 14, Wilt and his partner, Night Train Veeck (grandson of former White Sox owner and out-of-the-box innovator Bill Veeck) spoke to the United Business Association of Midway group about their plans for the House.

“We are a community organization that happens to play soccer,” Wilt said. “We want to be a positive agent of change in Chicago. We want to use this as a community asset.

“It really bugs me when you get these wealthy owners that threaten to move to another city. They make it out like it’s their team. This isn’t a typical business where a guy owns a business and it’s his business. This is a community team. You are depending on the community to support you. It’s something that belongs to the people and belongs to the fans.”

Veeck, who said Night Train is his given name, said this is a budding business model in which fans will have a stake in the ownership and there is a clause in which fans could even fire the coach if need be.

“We have ambitious plans,” Veeck said. “We’re working on a fan-ownership concept of a team. Think the Green Bay Packers but instead of giving out certificates, we will offer voting rights and a voice in decisions.”

The fans already had their say as they voted on the name, which Wilt and Veeck thinks is perfect as it embodies the city’s architecture and music among other things.

House officials had a Moniker Madness for the fans in which 68 names were considered and 67 were eliminated bracket style. The House, Second City FC, Point Chicago and the Sting were in the final four.

Other interesting nominated names included Chicago Hope, the Raccoons, River Rats, Onionmen, Bricklayers, Knuckles, Stockyards, Goats, Riot and Murder Hornets.

The team is going to practice at the Pilsen Athletic Football Club and plans on target marketing the city and suburbs.

Wilt said that the team will engage communities as much as possible and coach CJ Brown, a Chicago Fire legend, will also be active in getting the word out on the team.

Officials will also pepper the roster with Chicago-area talent.

Wilt said he knows attendance will be small at the beginning, but crosses his fingers he can reach 5,000 fans a game soon.

The first home game is Aug. 21 against the New Amsterdam FC. The first NISA match will take place Aug. 7 against Detroit City FC at Keyworth Stadium in Detroit.

The team has played two preseason games and is 1-1, which includes a 2-0 victory over Steel City FC on Saturday in Kankakee.

1 Comment

  1. Dan T on August 3, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    First – the wealthy owners DO own their teams.

    That said – how will this team overcome the issues that the Fire had – primarily, one of public transit options to get city-living fans out to Bridgeview?

    It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.



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