FROM A CHICAGO RED STARS/WINDY CITY MEDIA GROUP NEWS RELEASE
Chicago, IL ( March 16, 2009 ) There's a new women's professional sports team in town, and they will hit the ground running in April. As part of its region-wide promotional efforts, the Chicago Red Stars soccer team will be partnering with Windy City Times newspaper on promotions targeting Chicago's lesbian and gay community.
The Red Stars kick off the inaugural 2009 Women's Professional Soccer ( WPS ) season on April 4 on the road against Saint Louis Athletica at Ralph Korte Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Following a second road game against the Washington Freedom April 11, the Red Stars will play their historic home-opener at TOYOTA PARK in Bridgeview, Ill., on Sunday, April 19 against Sky Blue FC. The intimate, soccer-specific stadium is also home to the Chicago Fire men's soccer team, and just a short drive southwest of downtown Chicago.
Season tickets, starting at only $120 for 10 regular season games plus two bonus games, are on sale now. Call ( 866 ) WPS-2009 or log on to www.chicagoredstars.com to reserve your seats.
"This initiative is an important part of our overall plan to welcome all Chicagoans to watch amazing women athletes compete," said Red Stars director of marketing Jim Houghton. "Olympic and World Cup veterans will play alongside some of the best up-and-coming players in the world."
"Women's sports have always had a very dedicated following among the lesbian and gay community," said Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim. "However, some teams have shied away from promoting this partnership, leaving their fans feeling unwelcome at the gates. We are proud to partner with the Red Stars on this historic opening season of WPS. As a lifelong soccer player, I am excited about watching terrific soccer right here in Chicago this summer."
The Red Stars play a 10-game home schedule, with 9 of those 10 matches taking place on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to the April 19 home opener, the Red Stars play home games on the following dates: April 25 against Boston Breakers; May 10 vs. Sky Blue FC; May 16 vs. FC Gold Pride; May 23 vs. Saint Louis Athletica; June 20 vs. Boston Breakers; July 1 vs. Washington Freedom; July 12 vs. FC Gold Pride; July 26 vs. Washington Freedom; and Aug. 2 vs. Los Angeles. The playoffs will follow at the end of the regular season.
Chicago's team features top players from across the U.S. and the world. The team's international contingent is headlined by Brazilian phenom Cristiane, whose 10 goals in 12 games earned her the title of leading goal scorer in the last two Olympic tournaments. Other internationals include England's Karen Carney, Australia's Heather Garriock, Ifeoma Dieke of Scotland and Sweden's Caroline Jonsson and Frida Ostberg. The club's domestic talent includes US Soccer's Female Athlete of the Year Carli Lloyd, who scored the game-winning goal in the gold medal match of the Beijing Olympics in August, as well as US Women's National Team members Lindsay Tarpley, Megan Rapinoe, Marian Dalmy, and local Illinois product Ella Masar.
The 20,000-member Illinois Women's Soccer League ( IWSL ) has also signed on as a partner with the Red Stars.
Some of the Chicago Red Stars Players:
Cristiane, Lindsay Tarpley, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Ella Masar
The Chicago Red Stars were born as "Chicago Professional Women's Soccer"Sept. 4, 2007 along with six other charter franchises of the WPS. For more information, call ( 866 ) WPS-2009 or log on to www.chicagoredstars.com .
Windy City Times is produced by Windy City Media Group, whcih also publishes Nightspots, OUT! Resource Guide, Identity online, Windy City Queercast and QueerTVNetwork.com . See www.windycitymediagroup.com or call ( 773 ) 871-7610.
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