Photo illustration by Anthony Mendolia
Habitat: They originated in section 8 of the Fire's old home, Soldier Field–hence their name. You can now find them in Toyota Park’s Harlem End (Sections 116 through 119).
Visual Identification: Red and white are the Fire’s dominant colors, and S8C proudly sports them. Also look for the distinct flag and scarves that borrow from the City of Chicago flag–light blue bands sandwiching a white field with four six-pointed stars.
Defining Characteristics: Section 8 Chicago is a massive supporters' group–technically, an Independent Supporters' Association–that started in 1999. That's when two legendary supporters' groups, the Barn Burners and the Fire Ultras, united. The group still has a number of small, self-identified supporters' groups within its umbrella (including a small contingent of the remaining Fire Ultras). They’ve also adopted a game-day mindset of “First In, Last Out.”
Songs and Calls: They’re so beholden to the legend of the Chicago Fire of 1871 (the O’Learys, the cow kicking over the lantern) that they’ve transformed “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” into a chant.
Habitat: The top area of Section 116
Visual Identification: They’ve traded in the trademark orange jackets of their Soldier Field glory days for either basic black, or the red and white of both their beloved Fire and their beloved Poland.
Defining Characteristics: The group started with, and remains the domain of, Polish fans bringing their style of support to the Fire. Though their ranks have slimmed down in recent years, their influence on Section 8 Chicago culture dates back to the Fire’s debut season.
Songs and Calls: There are several remnants of the Fire Ultras’ influence on current Section 8 Chicago chants, including the call-and-response in which a capo asks “Who’s the best?” and the group responds with “Fire!"
Habitat: Section 101, in Toyota Park’s southwest corner
Visual Identification: For most games, they’re either decked out in Fire jerseys or Sector Latino shirts, though they designate one home game a year as the “blackout” game, in which they wear all black. They’ve also created some of the best hoodies in the league for the 2017 season.
Defining Characteristics: As the name suggests, this is the Latino-identifying supporters group for the Fire, although they’re open to all who want to support in the South American “barra” style.
Songs and Calls: Chants are in both Spanish and English, though they lean more toward the former with favorites like “Ya Es La Hora” (“It Is the Hour”) and “La Maquina Roja” (“The Red Machine”).