In October 2015, the Chicago Bulls began pursuing an expansion franchise in nearby Hoffman Estates to play in the Sears Centre, in time for the 2016–17 season.On November 9, 2015, the Hoffman Estates board unanimously approved the Bulls' proposed NBA D-League team.
The team was named through a contest on the Chicago Bulls' website. Fans submitted about 3,600 suggestions, which were narrowed down to three finalists: Great Lakes Bulls, Heartland Bulls and Windy City Bulls. Windy City was announced as the winner in a pep rally/press conference on February 24, 2016.
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