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Fire still hope to play full home schedule at Soldier Field

Chief operating officer John Urban said the Fire have already had discussions with Soldier Field representatives about fitting in matches when the Bears could also be in season.

The Fire and MLS are still looking at a complete 34-game season, including 17 home matches at Soldier Field.
Courtesy of CONCACAF

Commissioner Don Garber and MLS are still looking to play a complete 34-game regular-season schedule. The campaign would end with a December MLS Cup, allowing teams to make up matches postponed due to COVID-19.

To get those games in, teams would presumably play more matches during what’s usually the second half of the schedule. Fire chief operating officer John Urban said the team has already had discussions with Soldier Field representatives about fitting in matches when the Bears could also be in season.

“We’ve had the discussions with Soldier Field about how that comes to life in terms of potential dates and whether the season gets extended,” Urban said. “There’s some things we just don’t know yet. We’ve mapped that out with Soldier Field, at least that first iteration is there and it works.”

The Bears are Soldier Field’s primary tenant and have a five-day scheduling window. The Fire can host games one day after Bears games.

But at the moment, Urban said the Fire are not thinking about playing games at SeatGeek Stadium, their home facility from 2006-19 that’s still a base of their soccer operations. Last year, the team and the Village of Bridgeview agreed to an amended lease that allowed the Fire to shift back to Soldier Field.

“There’s no contemplation right now of going to Bridgeview based on the (information) from Soldier and the prevailing (information) from the league,” Urban said. “We’ve got a version that plays out at Soldier. If that window shifts or widens or otherwise requires more flexibility then we’ll continue to have those discussions with our friends at Soldier Field. Right now, no contemplation about Bridgeview. Just awaiting the next round of (information).

“For right now, while we continue to look at a 34-game season, there’s a version of those 17 home games that work at Soldier.”