Chicago GM Rodriguez gives update on potential rebrand, stadium situation

SeatGeek Stadium - Panoramic

The Chicago Fire are holding focus groups and discussions with Major League Soccer over a potential re-brand, general manager and president Nelson Rodriguez told reporters at a roundtable discussion held at SeatGeek Stadium on May 8.

Rodriguez added that there has been no definitive decision made on whether or not the club will undergo a rebrand, though. 

"We've continued on that process, we're working with Major League Soccer and their brand and marketing development (sic) (department)," Rodriguez said. "We've held focus groups to get some input from fans and general Chicago sports fans, not even necessarily soccer fans or fans of the Fire. We haven't made any decision relative to a name change or colors — and I'm not even sure there will be a name change."

Rodriguez hopes for a decision soon.

"We do need to accelerate that process and bring it to conclusion and make a decision if we're going to make a change and what that might be," Rodriguez said. "We have to speak to more different constituents and do a little bit more research before making a final decision."

Another developing story involving the Fire surrounds their stadium situation. The Village of Bridgeview board approved a memorandum of understanding on May 7 that would release the Fire from their current lease which runs until 2036. The vote allows for the formal process of amending the lease, potentially opening the door for the Fire to seek a new home.

Rodriguez confirmed at the media roundtable that the process is still ongoing and that nothing has been finalized.

“We have been negotiating with Mayor [Steven] Landek and the Village of Bridgeview for some time on an amended stadium lease,” Rodriguez said in a club statement issued prior to the roundtable, “but we have not reached a final agreement, and until we do, I’m not able to comment further.”