CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4434 into law today, expanding the options of professional sports team license plates Illinoisans can choose from at the Secretary of State. The change, which adds the Chicago Fire, the Chicago Sky, and the Chicago Red Stars to the list of options, brings women's professional sports to the official license plates of Illinois residents for the first time in state history.
"Last year, we welcomed the 2021 WNBA National Champions, the Chicago Sky, to our statehouse, and this law is another step toward honoring the joy they and our two professional soccer teams bring to Illinois residents," said Pritzker. "Illinoisans are lucky to have such an incredible roster of sports teams to root for and this law offers them more opportunities to show off their spirit."
The Chicago Fire, the Chicago Sky and the Chicago Red Stars will join the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox as options that the Secretary of State can issue effective January 1, 2023. The legislation also removes the logo of the St. Louis Rams as an option for Illinois license plates, a reflection of the team's return to California following the 2015 season (now once again the Los Angeles Rams).
"In Illinois we know that gender equity is about opportunity, education, jobs, and having a seat at the table. It is also about uplifting women for their excellence in all areas, including sports," said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. "This allows us to display our pride and to let all our teams know that we see them, cheer for them, and honor them for what they have accomplished and the example they set for little girls to be great."
"Showing support for your favorite team will now include our women's soccer and basketball teams," said state Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago). "These license plates will provide additional revenue for the state while showcasing the teams that drive our success."
"In Chicago we love our sports teams and whether you're a basketball or soccer fan, we want you to be able to represent your favorite team with pride," said state Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado (D-Chicago). "I'm especially pleased to see our women's sports teams represented for the first time. Having the Chicago Red Stars, Sky, and Fire represented not only expands our state's rich sports culture, but it also benefits our schools and, ultimately, our students through the state's Common Schools Fund."
"We are excited that Illinoisans will now have the option to represent the Sky and the Red Stars on their vehicles and further uplift women's sports in Illinois," said Chicago Red Stars Associate General Manager Michelle Lomnicki. "Thank you to all of our elected officials who helped us in this process, especially Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado and her staff. This bill will help increase the awareness of women's sports across the state and encourage children to work towards their goals of becoming professional athletes."