Chicago Fire to allow fans at Soldier Field this season originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The first fans to return to Soldier Field won’t be there to root on the Bears. They’ll be shouting “Dale!” instead.
The Fire and Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday that Chicago soccer fans can watch games in-person starting with the Fire’s home opener against the New England Revolution on April 17.
“Fans are what it’s all about,” said Fire Head Coach Raphael Wicky in a statement. “We train hard and play hard for you. What’s beautiful about football is our fans are from all walks of life. This is a sport that brings people together and we can’t wait for our supporters to be cheering us on at Soldier Field. We’re going to need them too. They’re the home field advantage that is so crucial in sports. I can promise our fans that every player on our team will give their all to make you proud.”
“One of the most exciting parts about our city being able to safely reopen is regaining our ability to get back to Soldier Field to cheer on beloved teams such as Chicago Fire FC," said Mayor Lightfoot in a statement. "This announcement was made possible by the many months we have spent planning, strategizing and evaluating how to welcome fans back into the stands and we will continue to work in close partnership with the Chicago Fire FC team to prioritize fans' health and mitigate risk.”
The Fire will gradually reopen Soldier Field, starting with just the 100 and 200-level sections. According to health guidelines, the stadium will be allowed to fill at 25% capacity, or 15,375 fans. Ample space will be given for social distancing between seating pods.
Additional health protocols include staggered entry times, hand sanitizer stations and more rigorous cleaning processes. Further, fans will be required to wear masks at all times, unless eating or drinking at their seats.
Fire ticket holders will receive an email later on Wednesday with additional information on how to purchase tickets for upcoming games.