When the 2016 season starts, the Chicago Fire won’t be the only team to call Toyota Park home.
The Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced on Thursday that they will be playing at Toyota Park in 2016.
The Red Stars have played at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex since the NWSL began play in 2013. With a capacity of around 3,000, the stadium was among the smallest in the league. Another benefit from the stadium move is that the team can now play on grass as opposed to a turf field designed primarily for football.
“Our fans and sponsors will now enjoy an exciting game day environment in a major league stadium, while our players and the rest of the teams throughout the NWSL will enjoy the benefits of competing on a world class, natural grass pitch,” said Chicago Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler in the team’s press release. “We are thankful for the warm reception and incredible support of Benedictine University and the Village of Lisle over the last three years. It gave us an intimate and affordable setting as our club and the league have grown.”
The team previously called Toyota Park home in 2009 and 2010, back when the Red Stars played in Women’s Professional Soccer, which folded following the 2011 season. In 2015, the Bridgeview stadium hosted two regular season games and the NWSL semifinal, a 3-0 loss to eventual league champion FC Kansas City.
The stadium move means the Red Stars join Houston and Portland as NWSL teams which play in MLS stadiums.
The Red Stars also announced that season tickets are now on sale and that there will be free parking at Toyota Park.