Fire’s new stadium: “What a beauty”

Fire Fans (Ana Reinert)
Photo: Ana Reinert

2strokebuzz were big Chicago Fire fans before the team even had a name, but we admit we’ve sort of lost track of the team ever since Peter Novak left and Milena was born and Soldier Field was renovated. We caught one match in the renovated Soldier Field and decided we hated it even more than the old Soldier Field. So we’ve been looking forward to the Fire’s new stadium in Bridgeview, IL, and apparently, so has the team. After starting the season with 9 straight matches on the road, they’re at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. But there’s hope: A good home crowd can spark the Fire to action more than any team in any sport I’ve ever witnessed, and an upcoming string of nine home games in the newest and best soccer stadium in America should turn their luck straight around. Tickets are available for their home opener next week against New York, though it appears only season ticketholders can score tickets for the MLS All-Star game (vs Chelsea!) in August.

Our friends Bob and Ana, Chicago ex-pats now living in Kansas City, scored tickets to the “Unofficial Home Opener” on June 11 (a 3-3 tie to New England). Bob says, “Oh baby, what a beauty of a stadium! Perfect to get the crowd riled up. Section 8 seating was loud enough to get the whole place jumping. We’re really jealous now.” and sent us some of Ana’s fantastic photos.

This World Cup thing is going on too… more on that later.

6 thoughts on “Fire’s new stadium: “What a beauty””

  1. Dear God, why oh why can’t St. Louis get a team? With the amount of high level players that come out of STL you’d think we could get a team together. We DID have the NASL St Louis Stars back in the day.

  2. I’ve always been surprised that the Fire is so well-supported, and it’s awesome that while the soccer moms and AYSO players they hoped to attract come in good numbers, there is an even more fervent (and way more vocal) core of european-style soccer fans, largely polish, that make a Fire match an absolutely vivid experience. By listening to the fans’ ideas, the Fire management has created the perfect sports experience: all the emotion of a european match, without the violence, at a totally reasonable price (admittedly at a much smaller scale). The new stadium was the only piece of the puzzle that was missing, and I’m REALLY looking forward to it. I have no doubt the team will turn around its fortunes and be in the run for the MLS cup this season.

  3. Although we live in KC, we are die hard Section 8 Fire fans. At the last KC/Fire game, we were taunting the local team with shouts of “Branson Wizards” and “St. Louis Wizards”. The local KC Wiz account rep was super nice and helpful getting us tickets, and he lamented the fact that the Wizards had like very very little marketing or sales support. The infrastructure really doesn’t know how to market to the local area, unlike Chicago or other areas.
    BB, you nailed it with how Fire has taken the fan experience and marketed upon that success. KC’s, by contrast, focuses on ‘family atmosphere’. Although the Cauldron (KC faithful) is pretty well stacked most matches, I don’t know of any other local groups (Hispanic, Polish) that are as feverish about their home team as the Fire.

    Somebody please cut me off. Didn’t mean to ramble.

  4. Is it a crime to scream “Fire!” in a crowded soccer stadium?

  5. Yes, they are. Tickets have been on sale for a while to Fire season ticket holders, and I think they recently opened it to other MLS season ticket holders and Chelsea supporters, so I’d be surprised if there are many tickets left if and when it goes on sale to the public.

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