CHICAGO (CBS) — Billionaire Joe Mansueto has bought out business partner Andrew Hauptman’s controlling interest in the Chicago Fire, taking over full control of the soccer team as it seeks to complete a deal to return to Soldier Field for the 2020 season.
Mansueto, founder and chairman of Morningstar, originally bought a 49% stake in the Chicago Fire in July 2018. On Friday, the club announced Hauptman had sold his 51% stake to Mansueto, who will take over as sole owner.
“I joined Andrew as a partner because he developed a tremendous platform for continued soccer growth across Chicago and beyond. 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,” said Mansueto. “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.”
— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) September 13, 2019
The Fire recently completed a $65.5 million deal with the village of Bridgeview to leave SeatGeek Stadium, which had been the soccer team’s home since 2006.
The team is negotiating with the Chicago Park District to use Soldier Field as its home stadium starting next year. The Fire played at Soldier Field from 1997 to 2006, when they moved to Bridgeview.
“What the Fire has achieved has been transformational for the Club and the city of Chicago. We’ve significantly increased soccer’s presence and built an ecosystem that rivals any club across North America,” said Hauptman. “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.”
Terms of the sale to Mansueto were not disclosed.