The Chicago Fire on Tuesday made official their return to Soldier Field, unveiling their shift of venues for the 2020 season and revealing the date and opponent for their first match back at the historic downtown stadium.
Though the plans have been known for months, the timing of the announcement is rife with symbolic portent: Oct. 8 is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire – the club’s namesake – in 1871, and the establishment of the club in 1997.
“On this anniversary of both the Great Chicago Fire and the founding of our team, it is my pledge to deliver a world class club worthy of our city and one that represents all of Chicago – our neighborhoods, our people, our communities,” wrote new owner Joe Mansueto in an open letter.
“The game we love has a unique ability to unite us all – and when Chicago is united, we can accomplish anything. It is my honor to invite a new generation to stand with us, as we make our stand for you.”
The Fire will host 2018 MLS Cup champions Atlanta United for their home opener at Soldier Field, on Saturday, March 21, 2020, and are now accepting ticket deposits for next season. It will mark the start of their third stint at the lakefront facility, which they called home from 1998-2001 and 2003-05 before relocating to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, their home for the past 14 seasons.