Amateur Athletic Union names Pullman center its Midwest base

The agreement promises to attract visitors to the Souh Side for an array of events and programs.

By David Roeder

Originally published on 1/28/2020 by Chicago Sun-Times 

A basketball court at the Pullman Community Center | Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives

The Amateur Athletic Union, which sponsors events in 45 sports across the U.S. and Canada, said Tuesday it has designated the Pullman Community Center as its Midwest headquarters, promising events and programs that will draw visitors and jobs to the South Side community.

The AAU said it will work with the Chicago Sports Alliance, its largest licensed event operator, to schedule tournaments, leagues and year-round programs at the center, 10355 S. Woodlawn Ave.

The property is part of the old Ryerson Steel site that nonprofit developer Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives has turned into a business and community hub. On Monday, Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) said Amazon plans to build a shipping location next door to the Pullman Community Center, although a company source said there is no final deal.

Jo Mirza, AAU national treasurer, said the center will be part of an AAU campaign to increase sports participation among youths who face socio-economic or other hardships.

“This is going to be the sports center of the Midwest,” he said. The facility is ideal for the AAU because it is well-equipped and accessible to groups coming from neighboring states, he said.

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