Saturday’s doubleheader only part of Fire-Red Stars relationship

Beyond the games, Red Stars executive Vicky Lynch called the Fire-Red Stars connection mutually beneficial.

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The Red Stars’ Tierna Davidson serves as the ceremonial “Fire Starter” before a Fire game on June 29 at Soldier Field.

Courtesy of the Fire

Team president Ishwara Glassman Chrein isn’t the only member of her family looking forward to the doubleheader Saturday at Soldier Field when the Fire host Atlanta United before the Red Stars face the San Diego Wave.

“My daughter [Chloe] who’s 13 is really excited to watch,” Glassman Chrein told the Sun-Times. “She wants to know if she can get an autograph with Alex Morgan [of the Wave]. I’ll be working on that.”

The event is another collaboration between Chicago’s major men’s and women’s soccer teams, and the first doubleheader since 2019 in Bridgeview. 

The two are roommates at SeatGeek Stadium, which the Red Stars call home and where the Fire train and play occasional matches when Soldier Field isn’t available. The franchises have paired up on marketing initiatives, with the Fire sending a promotional newsletter to their database last year to promote ticket sales for the Red Stars’ home playoff game. On June 29, injured Red Stars standout Tierna Davidson was the ceremonial “Fire Starter” before a Fire game against Philadelphia, waving a giant flag to rev up fans.

The doubleheader, which features the Red Stars’ first-ever game within Chicago city limits, will only further the relationship even though the two teams don’t have common ownership. 

Of course, both sides hope the event boosts their businesses and brands, too.

“The idea that there will be Fire fans there who maybe have never experienced the Red Stars in person, so that exposure will help us,” Red Stars chief business officer Vicky Lynch told the Sun-Times. “But also vice versa. This is a mutually beneficial event for both clubs. I know that the Fire are very excited about Red Stars fans being in Soldier Field that potentially haven’t gone to Soldier Field to watch the Fire play.”

Beyond just Saturday’s games, Lynch called the Fire-Red Stars connection a boon for both teams.

“I think both organizations are excited that we have a positive working relationship, and we definitely want to see that continue to grow and evolve into potentially maybe a doubleheader is an annual event between the organizations,” Lynch said. “We have talked about trying to sell ourselves together to a particular brand if it makes sense for what that brand is looking for.

“There’s just a lot of positives and we see it as a relationship that will continue to evolve and grow.”

Glassman Chrein, who like Lynch expressed interest in making a Fire-Red Stars doubleheader an annual event, said the Fire want to promote female athletes. The Fire president said the team is always open to new ways to work with the Red Stars, echoing what Lynch said.

On Saturday, the Fire will be able to put that into practice during perhaps their most important regular-season match since the 2020 finale, as they try for their fourth consecutive victory and to close in on a playoff spot. And there will be another benefit for youngsters like Chloe.

“In particular for young girls and for young boys too, the opportunity to see women play is really important,” Glassman Chrein said.

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