Our Chicago sports event track record proves the city’s status as a game-changing destination for high-profile, major sports events, races, and celebrations, from Nike Tournament of Champions and the Laver Cup to the AVP Gold Series and NFL Draft.
Here’s just a sampling of events previously or currently hosted in Chicago:
In 2023, we welcomed NASCAR to Chicago for the first-ever street race in their 75-year history. Taking place in and around Grant Park, the 2023 Street Race Weekend showcased Chicago to tens of thousands of fans and millions of viewers across the world. The inaugural event had an economic impact of $108.9 million along with a media impact of $23.4 million.
NBA’s annual weeklong showcase returned to Chicago for the first time since 1988 – and over 166,000 fans came out for events hosted at numerous iconic Chicago venues including the United Center, Wintrust Arena and Navy Pier.
United Soccer Coaches Convention
One of the world’s largest gatherings of soccer coaches and administrators is headed to Chicago for the first time in 2019. Founded in 1941, United Soccer Coaches welcomes more than 6,300 coaches and 11,000 attendees to its annual convention.
adidas® Windy City National Qualifier
The adidas® Windy City National Qualifier is a three-day youth volleyball event that draws hundreds of teams to Chicago annually.
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final
The 2019 tournament was the first to feature an expanded version, with 16 countries vying for glory in what is likely the largest Gold Cup in history.
NIKE Tournament of Champions
Widely considered the largest and most venerated basketball event in the world, NIKE Tournament of Champions brings approximately 32 NIKE sponsored teams to Chicago to play alongside 720 teams each year.
Special Olympics 50th Anniversary
Held in 2018, this 50th anniversary celebration featured the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Cup (soccer); a star-studded Global Day of Inclusion; a Law Enforcement Torch Run; and ceremonial lighting of the Special Olympics Eternal Flame of Hope.
AVP Gold Series: The Championships
Chicago has been an annual stop for this event nearly every year since 1983, and is the most frequent location for beach volleyball tournaments outside of California.
2018 Laver Cup
Chicago became the first U.S. city to host this all-star team tennis tournament, similar to the Ryder Cup in golf. Team captains included legendary tennis champions Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.
Annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon
More than 43,000 runners hit the streets of Chicago’s downtown and neighborhoods for this annual, highly anticipated and attended marathon. This is one of six Abbott World Marathon Majors.
Copa America Centenario
Nearly 1.5 million fans attended the 32 Copa America Centenario fútbol matches held across the United States in 2016. Chicago’s Soldier Field was one of 10 U.S. venues hosting the games for their first time on U.S. soil. More than 46,000 fans attended each game, making it the most attended Copa America in the tournament’s 100-year history.
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series
International sailing witnessed the first America’s Cup freshwater race in the event’s 165-year history when Chicago hosted the best sailors in the world at The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in 2016. Nearly 200,000 fans were in attendance at Navy Pier, representing 48 states and 23 countries.
2015 & 2016 NFL Draft
2015 was the first time the event was held outside of New York since 1964. A record-breaking 220,000+ attendees enjoyed the three-day festivities that included the first-ever Draft Town fan celebration in Grant Park.