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MLS’ Chicago Fire Reaches Agreement to Exit Stadium Lease

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club has reached a $65.5-million agreement with the Village of Bridgeview, IL to break its 30-year lease at SeatGeek Stadium, where the Major League Soccer franchise has been based since 2006. The deal paves the way for a move to “a more centrally-located Chicago stadium,” team owner Andrew Hauptman said Tuesday.

The amended stadium lease includes a significant contribution from the Fire toward development of a multi-sport recreation and entertainment center and higher annual lease payments. It also allows the team to play future home games and conduct operations in other Chicagoland sports venues beginning in 2020.

In May, Village Board members unanimously approved a memo of understanding that would release the Fire from the lease, and help Bridgeview pay off the sizable debt it has amassed from financing SeatGeek Stadium. The village has about $260 million of general obligation, tied mainly to the stadium.

Pictured: SeatGeek Stadium

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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