Chicago Windy City Fieldhouse sports complex in Logan Square to close – NBC Chicago


The Windy City Fieldhouse facility in Logan Square, a neighborhood staple that has provided a space for families and people of all ages to be active for more than 25 years, will close at the end of August.

Murrel Karsh, co-founder and president of Windy City Fieldhouse Events, said the company and Farpoint Development, the real estate company that owns the property, couldn’t come to terms on a lease agreement.

Karsh said that as much as he and his partners would have liked to keep the large indoor multi-sports complex at 2637 W. Logan open, it has become increasingly expensive to operate in the city. It will close Aug. 31, a few months shy of its 26th anniversary in December.

“Unfortunately, due to COVID and other circumstances, the industrial real estate market has exploded in Chicago, driving up prices, which drive up taxes,” Karsh said. “It’s tough. Those costs keep going up dramatically, and as rent goes up that means your property taxes go up even more. So the numbers start becoming astronomical to where it is impossible to make it work.”

Representatives of Farpoint Development did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Karsh reflected on the families and neighbors he’s gotten to know since the site opened its doors in 1997, recognizing the effect the complex’s closure will have on those who have come to identify it as a cornerstone of the area.

“We hope that we have been able to touch their lives as much as they’ve been able to touch our lives and make living in the city, and being around and being healthy and getting exercise for their kids maybe just a little bit easier,” Karsh said. “It’s been a great run, and we’re sad to see it end.”

Windy City Fieldhouse is a team building and entertainment company that specializes in corporate events and operates across the country. The sports complex on the Northwest Side is closing, but nothing else about the business will change, Karsh said.

Thousands of families regularly visit the 55,000-square-foot facility — enough space for basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, football, soccer and other sports — for their children to be active after school.

The facility also hosts personal fitness programs and is a popular birthday party destination for kids. Groups of friends and local leagues used the courts for friendly pickup games and more competitive tournaments.

Karsh said they’ve been helping league organizers find other spaces in the city that can host their games, such as the Bradley Fieldhouse in North Center.

Jared Ashe, basketball coach and director of Play Hard Hoops, a program that teaches kids the fundamentals of basketball, said there aren’t many facilities like Windy City that can accommodate youth interested in the program.

“It’s a disappointment for our program and definitely a disappointment on how we can provide great after-school and outside-school activities for kids,” Ashe said, adding that parents have expressed to him what the facility has meant to them over the years.

“There’s families and others who have shared many memories, who have used that space for birthday parties. There’s a feeling of disappointment,” Ashe said. “There are facilities in other parts of the city that are beautiful, but it’s just asking families to be able to drive a little bit further. It’s just a dampening feeling to what Windy City had provided at that location for so long.”

Karsh said it’s been an “emotional” few months, and hopes that once doors close he won’t be saying goodbye forever to the community that has been so good to them.

“This was our baby, we want to make sure people know how much they meant to us, and while we won’t be able to see them out on the athletic courts, hopefully we will be able to see them at one of our picnics or other events,” Karsh said.

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