An American Sports Museum Might Open in Chicago

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago might soon become home to a museum celebrating American sports. We can’t think of a better place to host such a site since Chicago is easily one of the most important sports towns in the world, let alone the country.

sports museum chicago
Photo Credit: Illinois Alumni (Mark Lapides)

The idea was formed by Mark Lapides, a former executive for the Adler Planetarium and future CEO of the sports museum if it comes to fruition. The thought spurned from the widespread disappointment that resulted from the city failing to acquire the highly anticipated Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, as Lapides felt bringing another tourism opportunity to the table could greatly benefit the city.


The nonprofit is in its very early stages, as the executives currently need to raise $50 million for the plan to move forward. Additionally, the team still needs to pin down a location that can accommodate the estimated 100,000 square-foot site, preferably in close proximity to the Loop and major lines of public transportation.

As for the actual exhibits, the minds behind the operation envision them to be very comprehensive. Featured topics would include sports history, highlighted legends, vintage memorabilia, arena and equipment engineering, the anatomy of athletes and injuries, and the physics of movement in sports.


The American Sports Museum would require an operating budget amounting to $20 million and is expected to draw in up to 600,000 guests per year. The team is currently hosting a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to raise money for future museum employees. After the capital is raised, the museum would be slated to open in three to four years.

This news closely follows the upcoming American Writers Museum which will open in downtown Chicago this May, another first for Chicago and for United States museums.


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