CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Fire, the Major League Soccer team, may soon be on the move.
The team might leave its stadium in Bridgeview and make the 14-mile journey to Soldier Field in Chicago, where it used to play.
Some business leaders say the possibility of the Fire leaving Bridgeview will not only affect their pockets but also their connection to the soccer club.
Andrew Piton has owned a local soccer store near the home of the “Men in Red” for nearly two decades.
During that time he became friends with some of the legends from the beginning.
The Polish immigrant says he was disappointed after he found out about the the Fire possibly making a return to Chicago, where the soccer institution was founded in 1997.
“For the fans, it will be not good probably because the parking is more expensive, and tickets will probably be more expensive,” Piton said.
The soccer club has called Bridgeview home since 2006. The president of the local chamber of commerce, Vic Portillo, said the team is the anchor of the community.
“It’s very family-oriented, and it’s a first-class facility, so we are disappointed that they are leaving,” Portillo said.
Juan Villegas owns a nearby restaurant and said on game day, hundreds of fans fill his business.
“Every time they got a game we got to get ready. We need more people to work because we know we are going to get busy,” Villegas said.
The general manager of the Fire, Nelson Rodriguez, expressed the following via a written statement :
“We have been negotiating with Mayor Landek and the Village of Bridgeview for some time on an amended stadium lease, but we have not reached a final agreement, and until we do, I’m not able to comment further.”
CBS 2 is still waiting for a response from the village regarding the possible move.