BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (July 9, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and the Village of Bridgeview have agreed to an amended stadium lease that includes a significant contribution from the Fire toward the development of a multi-sport recreation and entertainment center in Bridgeview and higher annual lease payments to the Village. The deal also allows the Chicago Fire to play future home games and conduct team operations in other Chicagoland sports venues.
As the dramatic growth of soccer in Chicago and the nation continues, this new agreement allows Bridgeview and the Chicago Fire to better serve both fans and players of all levels.
The Chicago Fire will contribute $5 million to the Village to be used to refurbish and expand the existing soccer facilities around SeatGeek Stadium. Also, under the terms of the agreement Bridgeview would receive $60.5 million over the remaining term of the lease, including an upfront payment of $10 million. The team will continue its valued partnership with Bridgeview by training at the facility and by operating Chicago Fire Youth development programs there.
Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek praised the partnership which will help the team grow while also maintaining the original investment in the stadium, which is owned by Bridgeview.
“SeatGeek Stadium will now have year-round availability for consistent high-revenue generating entertainment events for years to come,” said Mayor Landek. “Additionally, the expanded recreation venue will create even more growth opportunities for the Village. I’m extremely excited about the benefits this agreement will bring to our community and for the future of a sports team that all of us in Bridgeview and the region have come to love.”
“We are grateful to Mayor Landek and the residents of Bridgeview for our partnership,” said Chicago Fire Owner and Chairman Andrew Hauptman. “We’re glad we are able to strengthen our relationship while exposing even more fans to our Club and world-class soccer in a more centrally located Chicago stadium. Today marks the next chapter in the growth of the Club and the opportunity to play for more fans than ever in one of the world’s great cities.”
The Village and the Club are preparing definitive legal agreements to implement the amended stadium lease.
The Chicago Fire has planted deep roots in the Chicago soccer community. Almost 20,000 players participate in Chicago Fire Rec Soccer and nearly 16,000 young players participate in its Chicago Fire Juniors programs. The CIBC Fire Pitch attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually to its center, expanding youth and recreational soccer programming for all ages. The award-winning Chicago Fire Foundation P.L.A.Y.S. program is now partnered with 30 Chicago Public Schools to enhance academic and social development through sport. Additionally, as part of the national It's Everyone's Game campaign, the Fire have committed to assist in the construction of 50 mini-pitches in underserved neighborhoods throughout the Chicagoland area.