Effective immediately, the Chicago Fire will be under new ownership.
The club announced Friday that longtime chairman and owner Andrew Hauptman has sold his controlling interest to Joe Mansueto, who’s set to become chairman and sole owner. Under Hauptman’s leadership, the Fire have concluded an agreement with the Village of Bridgeview that allows the Fire to move back into the city of Chicago, and received approval from the Chicago Park District board to move toward an agreement that will enable the team to play its 2020 season at Soldier Field.
“What the Fire has achieved has been transformational for the club and the city of Chicago,” Hauptman said in a statement. “We’ve significantly increased soccer’s presence and built an ecosystem that rivals any club across North America. I’m extremely proud of the positioning of the club at this historic juncture. I know that the next step of returning to Soldier Field will make Chicago proud and I look forward to cheering on Joe, the club and its supporters as they continue this legacy.”
Hauptman led the Fire for 12 years after acquiring the club in 2007, making the playoffs twice this decade and finishing as runners-up in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup.
Mansueto is the executive chairman of Morningstar, a leading investment research firm based in Chicago. He stepped down as CEO at the end of 2016, and now leads the Fire’s next chapter centered around the downtown area. Mansueto also owns Inc and Fast Company magazines and is on the board of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“I joined Andrew as a partner because he developed a tremendous platform for continued soccer growth across Chicago and beyond,” Mansueto said in a team release. “He and the entire organization have worked tirelessly to dramatically increase the profile of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, MLS and the game overall and have left a wonderful legacy for our city. The timing of this transaction couldn’t be better as we return the world’s game to the city I love. Andrew and his family will always be part of the Fire family that he cares so very much about.”