Chicago Fire History
The Chicago Fire are the MLS franchise located in Chicago and famously named their franchise
after The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The team was founded on October 8th, 1997 on the
anniversary of The Great Fire and was named after it in hopes to bring native Chicago residents
to the sport because of the history the name brings. The team was able to sell many Chicago
Fire tickets their first year because of the anticipation in the city from a new sport, and the
many international players the team signed which brought all ethnicities to the soccer pitch to
buy Chicago Fire tickets and watch games.
Besides the excitement of a professional soccer team in Chicago, the team also drew many fans
based on their success in their first professional season. The team completed the double in
1998, which is winning both the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup just a week later. The success
of the team lasted for a few years, as they also won the U.S. Open Cup in 2000 and 2003. After
their Cup win in 2003 marked a short downturn in the team’s success as they missed out on not
only the 2004 playoffs, but also on the chance to sell extra Chicago Fire tickets for the first time
in many years.
After ownership changes, the team was able to return to prominence once again in 2006 when
they once again won the U.S. Open Cup. That same year, attendance also suffered for the first
time since 2003 as the team was able to only sell an average of 14,000 Chicago Fire tickets.
Toyota Park and the Fans
Chicago Fire tickets are sold at the gate of their home field at Toyota Park located just outside
the city of Chicago. Toyota Park has not also been the home to the Chicago Fire, the team
played 8 of its first 10 season at Soldier Field, home to the NFL Chicago Bears, which had a
seating capacity able to sell over 60,000 Chicago Fire tickets. The team completed the move to
their new stadium in 2006 after a construction cost of nearly $100 million for a soccer specific
stadium that can seat 20,000 fans.
The teams first year at Toyota Park resulted in a confusing drop in attendance of 2,000 fans per
game, a troubling number for a team that had shown success in its past. In the short existence
of Toyota Park the team has made it to the Semi-Finals in the playoffs three times, and most
recently missed the playoffs in 2010 and 2011. As the team has taken an unfortunate slide to
the bottom of the league, so has Chicago Fire tickets sales. The past few years the team has
been near the bottom third of the league in attendance and has been averaging only 15,000
fans per home game in attendance.
Besides the obvious selling of Chicago Fire tickets, Toyota Park has also sold tickets to other
events such as numerous concerts during the summer months and even a 2010 World Cup
qualifying match between USA and Trinidad. The stadium has also been home to a professional
Lacrosse and Woman’s soccer team, and is the current home to the Chicago Bliss of the Lingerie
Football League that is broadcasted on MTV.