September 5, 2012
By Charles Cuttone
Chicago has long indoor history
Indoor soccer has a long and checkered history in Chicago, starting in 1980, when the North American Soccer League's Sting began playing indoor at Chicago Stadium, while the expansion Chicago Horizon began play that same year at the Rosemont Horizon.
The MISL team lasted only one season, but the Sting had some great success indoors, setting in 1981 what was then the all-time record for an indoor soccer game when 19,398 saw them play in the Tampa Bay Rowdies. A crowd of 18,374 saw the sting play the New York Cosmos indoors that same season.
Coming off their first outdoor title in 1981, the first by a Chicago team in nearly two decades, the Sting averaged 13,322 playing indoors that season, their highest average ever. With crowds continuing to dwindle, along with the stability of the league, team owner Lee Stern eventually pulled the plug on the team in 1988.
Since then, there has been a long line of teams in different leagues trying to re-kindle the success the Sting had. So far no one has come close.
Chicago's indoor soccer teams
Chicago Sting (Major Indoor Soccer League 1982-83; 1984-1988)
Chicago Sting (North American Soccer League indoor 1980-82; 1983-84:)
Chicago Horizon (Major Indoor Soccer League 1980-81)
Chicago Vultures (American Indoor Soccer Association 1984-85)
Chicago Shockers (American Indoor Soccer Association 1985-87)
Chicago Power (AISA 1988-90; National Professional Soccer League 1990-96)
Chicago Storm (Major Indoor Soccer League 2005-08; Xtreme Soccer League 2008-09)
Chicago Riot (Major Indoor Soccer League 2010-11)