Fire's Soldier Field Lease Includes Variable Attendance-Based Fees
The initial portion of the Fire's lease at Soldier Field is three years, with two three-year extensions, then two one-year extensions, and it "calls for sliding payment scales based on attendance," according to Sandalow & Roeder of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. The Fire have to pay a minimum of $145,000 for "operating expenses for games with 15,000 attendees or fewer." But that fee "rises based on attendance." For example, it is $162,500 for "up to 20,000" and $253,000 for "any crowd larger than 35,000." The Fire also have to pay the Chicago Park District a per-game "use fee" of $10,000. The agreement does give the club a "substantial cut of revenue from parking and concessions." In terms of scheduling, the Bears are Soldier Field's "primary tenant and have a five-day scheduling window." The Fire can host matches "one day after Bears games." The Fire also "do not have scheduling priority ahead of any event that had been agreed upon before Sept. 5 of the previous year." As for the playing surface at Soldier Field, the District will "pay for a full resod of the field one time" either before or during the Fire season, and any additional full or partial resod "will be at the Fire's expense" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/17).