The Sky have added eight new investors, the majority women, to their ownership group, the team confirmed to the Sun-Times.
According to a report from Sportico, Sky owners sold a 10% share in the team to the new ownership group at an $85 million valuation which is the second highest in the league behind the Storm. New investors include Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, Footlocker CEO Mary Dillon and former president and CEO of Time’s Up and current chief strategy and impact officer at the Obama Foundation Tina Tchen.
Sky principal owner Michael Alter has said for over a year that adding investors is a top priority for him. Last July, Alter and Ricketts engaged in preliminary conversations about her potentially joining the team’s ownership group.
At the time, Alter said he was engaging in multiple conversations with interested parties but declined to comment on who. In January, Silicon Valley expert Nadia Rawlinson was added to the ownership group.
“The interest in general in women’s sports and the WNBA has never been greater,” Alter told the Sun-Times in May. “It continues to grow. That includes the Sky and, I’m sure, all other teams. It’s a great time to be a WNBA owner in that regard.”
According to Sportico, Alter will remain the Sky’s principal owner. Rawlinson and minority owner John Rogers both invested additional money into the franchise. Chicago investment bank Loop Capital was responsible for the valuation.
Last month, Alter told the Sun-Times that the Sky have begun scouting locations for their own practice facility. Sportico’s report detailed that part of the $8.5 million raised will go towards the construction of a facility.
The team’s priority is to develop a space that meets the team’s needs while also benefiting the community it’s in from an engagement and economic growth standpoint. Multiple team executives, including coach/GM James Wade have visited a handful of locations in Chicago.
Sky CEO/President Adam Fox said they are continuing to identify potential locations that would give the team some proximity to Wintrust Arena. The team currently practices at Sachs Recreation Center, a public gym in Deerfield. Their lease extends through the 2024 season, so it’s likely that the new facility would be available at some point ahead of the 2025 season.