MLS Fire To Build Year-Round Soccer Facility, With Eyes On Rec League Growth
The MLS Fire yesterday announced plans for a new year-round facility called the Chicago Fire Soccer Center. The 140,000-square-foot facility on 4.7 acres of land is expected to open next summer. It will include two regulation-size turf soccer fields and the first air-supported dome within Chicago's city limits. The majority owner of the project is an entity controlled by Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman, with minority partners Richard Levy and Jared Schenk (Fire). In Chicago, Danny Ecker noted the facility will cost $15-20M, and is expected to grow the team's recreational leagues and "broaden its fan base in the city." The Center will be located "along the north branch of the Chicago River in the North Center neighborhood," and will be Chicago's "largest year-round soccer facility." The Center also "will house several indoor-size fields and about 15,000 square feet of mixed use space for offices, training and retail." The Fire will "practice there periodically," although the team "normally practices in a dome in Bridgeview near Toyota Park." The facility will be Hauptman's "largest single non-player investment in the team" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 12/16).