Monday, May 23, 2011


Soldier Field, Chicago

Major league teams

As one of the United States' major metropolises, all major sports leagues have teams headquartered in Chicago.
  • Two Major League Baseball teams are located in the state. The Chicago Cubs of the National League play in the second-oldest major league stadium (Wrigley Field) and are widely known for having the longest championship drought in all of major American sport: not winning the World Series since 1908. The Chicago White Sox of the American League won the World Series in 2005, their first since 1917.
  • The Chicago Bears football team has won nine total NFL Championships, the last occurring in Super Bowl XX in 1986. The NFL's Arizona Cardinals were the ChicagoCardinals until they left the city in 1961.
  • The Chicago Bulls of the NBA is one of the most recognized basketball teams in the world, due largely to the efforts of Michael Jordan, who led the team to six NBA championships in eight seasons in the 1990s.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL began playing in 1926, as a member of the Original Six and have won four Stanley Cups, most recently in 2010 (after one of the longest Stanley Cup droughts of any NHL team, not having won since 1961).
  • The Chicago Fire soccer club is a member of MLS and is one of the league's most successful and best-supported, since its founding in 1997, winning one league and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups in that timespan.

Minor league teams

Many minor league teams also call Chicago their home. These include
  • The Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League, who won ArenaBowl XX in 2006.
  • The Chicago Wolves is an AHL team.
  • The Chicago Sky of the WNBA
  • The Chicago Bandits of the NPF, a female softball league; the Bandits won their first title in 2008
  • The Chicago Red Stars of the WPS, a female soccer league

Folded sports franchises

The city was formerly home to several other teams that either failed to survive, or that belonged to leagues that folded.
  • The Chicago Blitz, United States Football League
  • The Chicago Sting, Major Indoor Soccer League
  • The Chicago Cougars, World Hockey Association
  • The Chicago Rockers, Continental Basketball Association
  • The Chicago Skyliners, American Basketball Association
  • The Chicago Bruisers, Arena Football League
  • The Chicago Power, National Professional Soccer League
  • The Chicago Blaze, National Women's Basketball League.

Professional sports teams outside of Chicago

Chicago is not the only place in Illinois where professional sports are played. The Rockford Lightning is one of the oldest CBA teams in the league. The Peoria Chiefs and Kane County Cougars are minor league baseball teams affiliated with MLB. The Schaumburg Flyers, Lake County Fielders, and Joliet JackHammers are members of the Northern League, and the Southern Illinois Miners, Gateway Grizzlies, Joliet Slammers, Windy City ThunderBolts and Normal CornBelters belong to the Frontier League.
In addition to the Chicago Wolves, the AHL also has two teams in Illinois outside of Chicago: the Rockford IceHogs serves as the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Peoria Rivermen is the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.

Motor racing

Illinois has a long tradition of motor racing. Oval tracks at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, the Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero and the Gateway International Raceway in Madison, near St. Louis, have hosted NASCAR, CART and IRL races, whereas the Sports Car Club of America, among other national and regional road racing clubs, have visited the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, the Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit and the former Meadowdale International Raceway in Carpentersville. Illinois also has several short tracks and dragstrips. The dragstrip at Gateway International Raceway and the Route 66 Raceway, which sits on the same property as the Chicagoland Speedway, both host NHRA drag races.

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