The Chicago Sky have begun scouting locations to open their practice facility as it looks to contend with other WNBA franchises in enhancing amenities for players.
“Now is the right time. If we can find the right location and opportunity, we’re going to do it,” Sky principal owner Michael Alter told the Chicago Sun-Times.
A new practice facility for the Sky reportedly is unlikely to be completed before 2025. The Sky have been in the WNBA since 2005 but do not own their practice facility like most other WNBA teams. Since 2011, the Sky have practiced at the Sachs Recreation Center, a public gym in the Deerfield suburb of Chicago.
After Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai bought the New York Liberty in 2019 and moved the team into the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, a few other WNBA teams have followed plans to improve their facilities.
The Las Vegas Aces opened its 64,000-square-foot practice facility in May, making it the first practice venue built specifically for a WNBA team. The Seattle Storm has also broken ground on a $64 million practice facility project set to open in time for the 2024 season.
An upgraded practice facility figures to make the Sky a more attractive landing spot for free agents.
“We have to keep up with the Joneses,” Sky guard Kahleah Copper told the Chicago Sun-Times. “As WNBA players, it’s important for us to be taken care of. We’ve gotten so relaxed in just settling for whatever it is we have, but we should demand and want more. This organization is so great that a facility just for us is a game changer.”