BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Mother Nature just refused to cooperate in the Windy City on Wednesday night.
The Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew will play their US Open Cup fourth round game at 1 pm ET on Thursday after Wednesday evening's kickoff was postponed due to a thunderstorm that was forecasted to last late into the night.
Columbus will now face the prospect of playing two games in three days, while the Fire will receive another night's rest after playing last Saturday. The Fire do not return to league action until June 19.
“Both teams were in agreement that this was in the best interest of, not only the safety of the players, but the fans and everybody,” match commissioner Minos Vlamakis explained.
The teams seemed ready to wait out the storm, and the city of Bridgeview agreed to waive an ordinance that disallows the team from playing beyond 11 pm.
But just after 8 pm local time, the game was postponed. Vlamakis said the Crew, who will host Montreal on Saturday, weren't in favor of waiting until late in the night to make a decision.
“They were good sports about it,” Vlamakis said. “They understand this is not something we have any control over. To be fair to them, they would prefer to know what the plan was versus waiting another two hours and another two hours after that.”
The game had to be rescheduled early in the day because setup for a Saturday concert at Toyota Park will begin late on Thursday evening. All postponed games must be played within 24 hours of the scheduled time, barring inclement weather.
Thursday's game will be free to the public, and the Fire also announced that they would honor tickets from Wednesday's match at a future game:
Those with tickets to tonight's match will have their tickets honored at a future #cf97 home game. Contact Fan Relations at 708.496.6800.— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) June 13, 2013