Parkway Bank Sports Complex

AU Pro Softball Extends Commitment to Chicago Area with 5-Year Stadium Lease Extension

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2024 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Athletes Unlimited
May 09, 2024
  • Twelve-Foot-Tall Softball Lands at Daley Plaza Thursday, May 16, to Celebrate AU Pro Softball’s Continued Commitment to Chicago Softball at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont

Athletes Unlimited Pro Softball, the professional softball league in the U.S., will take over Chicago’s Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington Street) on Thursday, May 16, with a supersized softball to announce a five-year stadium lease extension for its AU Pro Softball League at Parkway Bank Sports Complex (27 Jennie Finch Way, Rosemont). The stadium lease extension reinforces Athletes Unlimited’s commitment to professional softball in the Chicago area and pays homage to the city where softball originated. Chicagoans are invited to visit Daley Plaza on May 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to enjoy giveaways, participate in free activities, and learn more about AU Pro Softball and its upcoming season. AU Pro Softball ambassador and award-winning sports journalist and Chicago native Sarah Spain, along with AU Pro Softball athletes, will be on-site to greet fans.

In deepening its commitment to Chicago, AU announced a partnership with Laureus USA to become a member of Sport for Good Chicago—a coalition of more than 100 local organizations actively using sport as a vehicle for social change in the community.

Harkening back to Chicago’s history as the birthplace of one of North America’s most popular sports and the city’s uninterrupted role as one of America’s key hubs for the game, AU will launch a new campaign entitled “Softball is Home,” on Thursday, May 16, featuring a new video spot hosted by Chicago’s own Sarah Spain.

“Chicago is the birthplace of softball – the sport was invented here in 1887, and women’s teams have a long history playing here. It is only fitting that Athletes Unlimited continue having the Chicago area’s Parkway Bank Sports Complex as our home base for the next five,” said Jon Patricof, Athletes Unlimited co-founder and CEO. “We’re inspired by this city’s love of sports and hope Chicagoans continue to embrace the world’s best softball players when they compete in AU in July and August.”

Originally launched in 2020, Athletes Unlimited Pro Softball brings more than 60 world-class female athletes to compete in action-packed fastpitch softball over a high-stakes five-week season at Parkway Bank Sports Complex. Each summer, fans from all over the country can tune into AU Pro Softball on national television via ESPN or attend the exciting in-person games. Earlier this year, AU announced an extension to its national broadcast deal with ESPN and the league is proud to have partnerships with Nike, Gatorade, and other leading global sports giants.

AU games offer a distinct experience, as each week the team rosters change based on the individual players’ performance in previous games. The top players become the team captain for the week. In essence, each player is competing not only with the opposing team members but also with their teammates to climb the individual leaderboard rankings, thereby winning the opportunity to handpick their teammates for the next series.

“Softball has evolved over time, shifting from a male-dominated sport to women setting the records. In the 1930s, women’s teams were attracting huge crowds to their games at venues including Soldier Field. We are motivated by Chicago’s continued support of softball and AU Pro Softball amid industry changes while propelling softball forward into a new generation of vibrant sportsmanship in women’s professional sports,” said Cheri Kempf, Athletes Unlimited senior vice president.

Season five of Athletes Unlimited Pro Softball will run July 26 through August 25, and season tickets are on sale now.

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