Fire president: soccer-specific stadium within city limits an option for club

The Bears could be leaving Soldier Field.

The Fire may, too.

During a city corridor with followers earlier than Saturday’s recreation towards Charlotte FC, workforce president Ishwara Glassman Chrein stated constructing a soccer-specific stadium within city limits is an option for the Fire. Another option if the Bears bolt for Arlington Heights could be to turn into Soldier Field’s main tenant, which may embody vital renovations to make the ability extra pleasant for the Fire.

“We are all of these choices,” stated Glassman Chrein, who asserted that the Fire wouldn’t comply with the Bears to the northwest suburbs. “If we do construct a soccer-specific stadium, we need to be within the city. We need to be the Chicago Fire. We need to be near you, our followers. Hopefully we’ll be capable to share extra on that within the coming months, however we’re nonetheless these choices.”

The concept of ​​a soccer-specific stadium in Chicago could be a significant growth for the Fire, who’re seemingly on the verge of finalizing plans for a state-of-the-art efficiency heart. The Fire leaving would even be a blow to the city, which is hoping the Fire would keep and keep one of many historic stadium’s sports activities tenants.

Even with proprietor Joe Mansueto’s cash and data of the market, getting the land for a brand new area could be a problem, contemplating how laborious it’s to seek out actual property in the fitting location within the crowded city.

The Fire moved again to the lakefront earlier than the 2020 season and signed an 11-year lease with three three-year segments and two one-year extensions. The first three years is up on the finish of the season, and it is attainable Glassman Chrein’s assertion was a leverage ploy to get a greater take care of the city.

The venue has additionally thrown up challenges to the Fire ever since, though not one of the points are a shock to seasoned observers.

The taking part in floor earlier than it was resodded has come below scrutiny due to how negatively it could actually impression play. And the stadium itself is cavernous and too massive for MLS video games. Prices on the venue have additionally been tough for followers, together with $40 for parking that exceeds many tickets to really enter the venue.

Because of their standing behind the Bears, the Fire have been compelled to maneuver matches to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, together with the workforce’s twenty fifth anniversary recreation Oct. 9.

“I believe all of us should dwell with the fact of the truth that Soldier Field is a really busy constructing,” Glassman Chrein stated. “The NFL performs right here, there are school soccer video games, there are live shows right here. Next yr there’s going to be a NASCAR race working proper [downtown]. I believe the fact of the scenario is so long as we and the Bears play right here, we’re going to have to maneuver two or three video games yearly to SeatGeek.”

If the Bears go away or the Fire truly get their very own stadium within the city, that will not be an challenge.

NOTE: At the identical occasion, sporting director Georg Heitz stated the workforce has given new contracts to Brian Gutierrez and Federico Navarroand that the Fire will attempt to convey again Gabriel Slonina on mortgage subsequent yr from Premier League club Chelsea.

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