The Chicago Fire entered MLS red-hot, winning MLS Cup in their first year. And while the next ten years of the team’s existence on the field was by any measure good, their off-field maneuvers (along with an ill-fated move into the suburbs) have left the team all but irrelevant in the Chicago area. The change in ownership, coupled with restrictive lease terms on the stadium and a downturn in on-field performance, only served to make matters worse.
However, the Fire look set to leave Bridgeview and return to Soldier Field in Chicago, but is playing in a 65,000 seat stadium really a cure for the disease, or could it actually make matters worse? I discussed the state of the Fire with Guillermo Rivera, writer for The Athletic, and Nicole Hack, chair of Section 8 Chicago, the Fire’s supporters association. (Warning: audio is a bit wonky on this episode; apologies in advance.)