The pandemic forced some changes in how professional sports are played (and watched, as none of us can gather at stadiums at the moment), but our need for the occasional distraction from challenges led a lot of us to embrace the modifications and figure out a way to support our teams. Unfortunately, Chicago’s women’s professional teams still tend to get overlooked, which is shameful because we happen to have a lot of talented players.
The Chicago Sky made a notable move in February 2021 when they signed Candace Parker, an Olympian and WNBA Most Valuable Player. Since it has to be said, she’s been referred to as the “Jordan” of the WNBA, but more importantly she’s joining a team that already had a strong starting lineup including league All-Stars Courtney Vandersloot and Diamond DeShields.
I’m guessing that the takeaway for some of you is, “We have a women’s professional basketball team?” We do! We also have a solid women’s soccer team in the Chicago Red Stars, who start their season this spring at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview and a talented professional fastpitch softball team, the Chicago Bandits, who play at the Ballpark at Rosemont in non-pandemic years. And plans are underway for the Chicago North Stars, a women’s hockey team that includes former college and USA Hockey champions. The North Stars are currently playing in men’s amateur leagues as a way to keep up their skills while they make a bid to join the National Women’s Hockey League and become Chicago’s first women’s professional hockey team. There’s a lot of ways to show our civic pride, but supporting our women’s teams is the paramount way for us to show off what Chicago is all about.