Chicago Cubs owner buying USL team, stadium planned near Wrigley Field

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who helped turn a team of loveable losers into a World Series champion, has agreed to become a majority owner of a franchise in the second-tier United Soccer League that intends to play in a new stadium a developer plans to build not too far from Wrigley Field.

Sterling Bay, a real estate development company, said on Wednesday it will form a joint venture with Ricketts that will own the team. No date was announced for the team to start play.

Sterling Bay announced plans in November for a 20,000-seat stadium in the Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods of the North Side. It was unclear when construction might start.

Chicago spokesman Grant Klinzman said in an email that such a project must be approved by the city's plan commission and the City Council, and the process would include community hearings and reviews by a host of city agencies. None of that has occurred, Klinzman said.

When contacted by The Associated Press, Ricketts declined comment.

The Ricketts family bought the Cubs in 2009, and in 2016 the franchise won its first World Series title since 1908. The team has one more offseason remaining in a five-year renovation of Wrigley Field.