Peter Wilt's exit from Indy Eleven became official today. The club announced its President and General Manager was departing in order to pursue the creation of an NASL club in Chicago. As first reported here last April, NASL has been working to land a club in Chicago for some time. Empire of Soccer identified Wilt and ownership group Club 9 Sports in October and today's news confirms that the Fire will have some competition for the pro soccer dollar soon.
The popular and still revered former Fire General Manager is partnering at Club 9 with Jack Cummins, who he also worked with in launching the Chicago Red Stars, in efforts to bring NASL here. There are still details to work through, including a home stadium site within City limits, but the goal has always been to announce an expansion team early this year and begin play in the summer of 2017.
Wilt will continue his General Manager duties as a consultant with Indy Eleven for the time being although the club has not set a timetable for his complete separation.
“CLUB 9 SPORTS has been working diligently to assemble a quality investor group on behalf of Jack Cummins and me," said Wilt via a press release. "In order to make this a reality, we now need to secure a proper venue and importantly, we need to work with the soccer community to add a public supporters component to the investor group. We look forward to working with the soccer, civic and business communities to make the connections that will truly make this Chicago’s team.”
Wilt's involvement, along with the potential return of the "Chicago Sting" name should drum up some interest, along with planting a sense of urgency on the MLS side of pro soccer here.