The Village of Bridgeview -- the Chicago Fire's future home -- has approved the hiring of Turner Construction Company and Rossetti to oversee the construction and architecture projects, respectively, for Bridgeview's $70 million, 20,000-seat, world-class soccer stadium that will house the Major League Soccer team permanently, with a targeted move-in date of Spring 2006. The stadium is scheduled to break ground this fall.
Chicago-based Turner Construction, which managed the highly acclaimed Soldier Field renovations, will handle the administration of the construction project and oversee all the trade contractors. Turner has been building projects in the Chicago area since 1926 and is a leader in the educational, healthcare, commercial, pharmaceutical and sports and entertainment construction sectors. Turner Chicago has played a major part in shaping skylines in and outside of Chicago, and is responsible for the construction of more than 100 buildings in Cook County, the collar counties and beyond.
"Turner was the best fit for this project," said Bridgeview's Special Projects Director Bill Green Sr. "The team they've assembled for the construction of the Chicago Fire stadium has many projects under its belt. Plus, they're local, and they're familiar with the local unions and vendors."
Based in Michigan, Rossetti is the leading sports architecture firm in America with innovative sports venue designs such as the Palace at Auburn Hills (NBA), Corel Center (NHL), Ford Field (NFL), USTA Arthur Ashe Stadium and The Home Depot Center (MLS).
"Rossetti believes the stadium design for the Chicago Fire sets new standards for MLS," said Rossetti Principal Timothy R. Lambert. "Innovative ideas are developed in the Fire stadium that will create an experience for the fans that cannot be found anywhere in this country. This will be the most intimate, loud and exciting soccer stadium in America - a true home for soccer in America."
The new stadium will be located at 71st and Harlem on approximately 80 acres. The Fire and AEG - the Fire's parent company - will operate as the stadium's primary tenants, and the site will house the team's offices and official team training center with an additional training field to be built adjacent to the stadium. Similar to AEG's Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, the stadium will be a multi-purpose facility that can be used by the rapid growing youth soccer communities in the Southland region for camps, clinics and games. It will also serve as a major concert venue.
During the development process, the Fire will play its 2005 season at Soldier Field, its original home. The Fire played at Soldier Field from 1998 to 2001 and spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons at North Central College's Cardinal Stadium in Naperville due to renovations to the lakefront venue. The team returned to Soldier Field in the Fall of 2003 and played there during the 2004 MLS campaign before record-breaking crowds.
The stadium is expected to create more than 700 construction jobs, and nearly 350 new jobs will be required for the operation of the facility once it opens. In addition, the activity brought by the stadium is expected to help inject more than 200 jobs in the local economy.
Currently in its seventh year of existence, the Chicago Fire was founded on October 8, 1997 as a Major League Soccer expansion team. In 2003 the Fire was crowned the MLS Supporters Shield Winner and Eastern Conference Champion and captured its third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Fire won the MLS Cup in its inaugural season in 1998 and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 1998 and 2000.