SeatGeek Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium at 71st Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, Illinois, about twelve miles southwest of downtown Chicago. It is the home stadium of the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). The stadium has also hosted the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer, Chicago Machine of Major League Lacrosse, and Chicago Bliss of the Legends Football League (LFL). Originally named Toyota Park when it opened on June 11, 2006, the facility has a capacity of 20,000 and was developed at a cost of around $100 million. The naming rights agreement with SeatGeek went into effect following the Fire's 2018 season.
SeatGeek Stadium in March 2013
|Former names||Toyota Park (2006–2018)|
|Address||7000 South Harlem Avenue|
|Owner||Village of Bridgeview|
|Field size||120 x 75 yards|
|Broke ground||November 30, 2004|
|Opened||June 11, 2006|
|Construction cost||$98 million|
($124 million in 2019 dollars)
|Project manager||ICON Venue Group|
|Structural engineer||John A. Martin & Associates|
|Services engineer||A. Epstein & Sons International|
|General contractor||Turner Construction Harbour Contractors|
|Chicago Red Stars (WPS, NWSL) (2009–2010, 2016–present) |
Chicago Fire (MLS) (2006–2019)
Chicago Bliss (LFL) (2011–2012, 2015–2017)
Chicago Machine (MLL) (2007–2009)
Roosevelt University Lakers men's and women's soccer (NAIA) (2010–present)
Northwestern Wildcats men's and women's soccer (NCAA) (2015)
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Incorporating traditional stadium features from American and European facilities, SeatGeek Stadium includes predominantly covered seating, a brick facade and stone entry archway, and first rows placed fewer than three yards from the field. It includes 42 executive suites, six larger party suites, the Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame, and the Fire club offices, as well as a large stadium club/banquet room measuring over 9,000 square feet (840 m2).
A practice facility with two fields (one natural grass; the other artificial turf) for the Fire club and its youth programs lies next to the stadium. The stadium's design allows expansion of 50% more seating at negligible expense. Its 120-by-75-yard (110 by 69 m) natural grass field's $1.7 million turf management system comprises full heating, drainage, and aeration capabilities.
A permanent stage allows the stadium to host concerts and quickly change configurations. A typical conversion from soccer to stage takes no more than 18 hours. The field accommodates 8,000 additional chairback seats for concerts and other stage events.
In 2006, Toyota entered into a ten-year naming rights agreement and renamed the new stadium Toyota Park. In 2016, it was reported that Toyota had opted against renewing their naming rights. Despite this, the stadium continued to be known as Toyota Park through the 2018 season. Afterwards, new sponsor SeatGeek assumed stadium naming rights starting with the 2019 Fire season.
The naming rights agreement that was signed in 2018 is the first such agreement that SeatGeek has ever entered into. It has been reported that, as part of the deal, SeatGeek will also serve as the venue's primary ticketing service, starting in 2019. SeatGeek has reportedly promised that they will work to, "bring more live programming, including premier concerts, music festivals and international sporting events" to the stadium.
In July 2016 two large scale murals where designed and painted by artist Tony Passero on the east and west walls of the stadium's stage suites. The murals measure 14 feet high by 27 feet in length and are named Offense and Defense.
The Chicago Fire entered Major League Soccer as an expansion team in 1998, playing for its first four seasons at Soldier Field in Chicago. The club moved to Cardinal Stadium in Naperville for two seasons while Soldier Field was renovated, leading to calls for a soccer-specific venue. The Fire received several bids, announcing Bridgeview as the winner in 2003. Construction on the Bridgeview venue began on November 30, 2004, and was completed on June 11, 2006.
The Fire and Bridgeview began negotiating a re-evaluation of the stadium lease in 2018, shortly after Joe Mansueto acquired his stake in the team. In early April 2019, several media reports emerged about a potential contract buyout that would allow the Fire to move back to the city of Chicago, playing temporarily at Soldier Field once again. On May 8, 2019, Chicago Fire president Nelson Rodriguez confirmed that the team was negotiating a tentative deal with the village to terminate their lease, which was slated to run through 2036, at an estimated cost of $65 million. The terms of the deal were confirmed on July 9, 2019. In consideration for releasing the Fire and MLS from the lease, the Fire will put money toward a “multisport recreation and entertainment center” at the site. The Red Stars have no plans to move.
Major soccer eventsEdit
|September 10, 2008||United States 3–0 Trinidad and Tobago||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification–CONCACAF||11,452|
|October 11, 2016||Mexico 1–0 Panama||Friendly||19,017|
SeatGeek Stadium hosts annual friendly matches between Chicago Fire and the popular European and Mexican clubs, which in the past included A.C. Milan, Everton, C.D. Guadalajara, Club America, Santos Laguna and others.
SeatGeek Stadium hosted four matches during the group stage of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.
SeatGeek Stadium hosted its first international rugby match in 2006, United States VS Munster. In June 2008 the stadium hosted three matches of the Churchill Cup, including United States VS Canada, England Saxons VS Scotland A, and Ireland Wolfhounds VS Argentina Jaguares. On June 6, 2009 the stadium hosted a 2009 mid-year rugby test series match between United States and Wales in a warmup match for the USA in its campaign to qualify for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
|June 21, 2008||Canada||26–10||United States||2008 Churchill Cup Bowl Final||–|
|June 21, 2008||Ireland A||33–8||Argentinian XV||2008 Churchill Cup Plate Final||–|
|June 21, 2008||England Saxons||36–19||Scotland A||2008 Churchill Cup Final||–|
|June 13, 2009||Wales||48–15||United States||June tests||6,264|
|November 04, 2016||Māori All Blacks||54–7||United States||end-of-year tests||18,700|
Other sports eventsEdit
SeatGeek Stadium also serves as the home site for Roosevelt University men's and women's soccer matches. It was announced in December of 2019 that the Chicago Blitz of the Extreme Football League would play their inaugural season at SeatGeek Stadium.
Since 2006, SeatGeek Stadium has been the host venue for Chicago radio station B96's annual summer concert, The B96 Pepsi Summer Bash. The Crossroads Guitar Festival was held on July 28, 2007 and again on June 26, 2010. A three-day, all-electronic music festival, Future Sound Dance Music Festival, was hosted at SeatGeek Stadium May 24–26, 2013. The Chicago Open Air festival, a 3-day rock festival put on by Danny Wimmer Presents, was held there July 15–17, 2016.
|Date||Artist(s)||Opening act(s)||Tour||Tickets sold||Revenue||Additional notes|
|July 8, 2007||Dave Matthews Band||Guster||2007 Summer Tour||—||—|||
|June 6, 2008||Dave Matthews Band||Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings||2008 Summer Tour||—||—|||
|July 24, 2008||Jimmy Buffett||—||The Year of Still Here Tour||—||—|
|July 26, 2008|
|June 13, 2009||Kelly Clarkson||—||All I Ever Wanted Summer Fair Tour||—||—||This concert was a part of the "B96 Pepsi SummerBash"|
|July 31, 2009||Korn||Powerman 5000
|Escape from the Studio Tour||—||—|
|August 8, 2009||Jimmy Buffett||—||The Summerzcool Tour||—||—||Ilo Ferreria, Jake Shimabukuro and Joe Perry of Aerosmith were special guests.|
|August 11, 2009||Phish||—||Late Summer Tour 2009||—||—|
|August 15, 2009||Jimmy Buffett||—||The Summerzcool Tour||—||—||Ilo Ferreria was the special guest. This show featured a unique medley of “Tryin’ to Reason with Hurricane Season” with a verse of “Banana Republics” in the middle before going back to “Tryin’ to Reason with Hurricane Season.”|
|June 11, 2010||Phish||—||Early Summer Tour 2010||—||—|
|August 14, 2010||Jimmy Buffett||—||Under the Big Top Tour||—||—|
|June 9, 2011||Kenny Chesney||Billy Currington
|Goin' Coastal Tour||—||—|
|July 23, 2011||Jimmy Buffett||Ilo Ferreira||Welcome to Fin Land Tour||—||—||This show was plagued by many technical issues before the power finally went out after Fins. Jimmy performed the first encore while they waited for power to be restored. Once restored, the band came back for the second encore.|
|August 26, 2012||Evanescence
|—||Carnival of Madness||—||—|||
|July 12, 2013||Bob Dylan||Wilco
My Morning Jacket
Richard Thompson Electric Trio
|Americanarama Festival of Music||11,075 / 13,068||$689,308|
|July 14, 2017||Kiss||—||Kissworld Tour||—||—||This concert was part of Chicago Open Air.|
Pace operates the #387 SeatGeek Stadium Express nonstop from the Midway Orange Line Station for Chicago Fire matches and special events. A $2.475 million transit center operated by Pace was constructed at the east end of the stadium's parking lot in 2014.
The club also provides bus transportation from nine different bar locations in the city to and from the games.
- Bora, Ryan (April 21, 2018). "SeatGeek Grabs Naming Rights For Chicago MLS Stadium; Promises More 'Live Programming'". pollstar.com. Pollstar. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- Thomas, Ian; Eric, Fisher (April 20, 2018). "SeatGeek lands naming rights to Chicago Fire's stadium". www.bizjournals.com. Chicago Business Journal. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
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- "Field of Dreams: Toyota Park has men's soccer whistling bluegrass". DePaulia. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
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- "Built for Sports and Showbiz". Sports Business Journal. Street's and Smith's. July 10, 2006. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
- "Chicago Red Stars to Play 2016 Season at Toyota Park". Chicago Red Stars. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- "Indebted Chicago Suburb Catches a Break With Naming Rights Deal". Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- Long, Zach (April 19, 2018). "Next season, you'll watch the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium". www.timeout.com. Timeout. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- Rivera, Guillermo (August 10, 2016). "Fire sale? – at least three groups interested". www.chicagonow.com. Chicago Now. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- "Mural installation brings abstract perspective to Chicago Fire matchday". Chicago Fire. September 26, 2016.
- Gehring, Stephanie (November 21, 2004). "Stadium work under way". Southtown Star. p. A13. Retrieved May 31, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Mikula, Jeremy (April 7, 2019). "Fire eye return to Soldier Field". Chicago Tribune. p. 8. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- Santaromita, Dan (April 5, 2019). "Chicago Fire consider stadium lease buyout, return to Soldier Field". Pro Soccer USA. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- Mikula, Jeremy; Mahr, Joe (May 8, 2019). "Bridgeview says the Chicago Fire will pay $65 million in a proposed deal to leave SeatGeek Stadium". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- "USA vs Trinidad and Tobago". September 10, 2008. Archived from the original on August 4, 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Peralta nets winner as Mexico tops Panama". October 11, 2016.
- uefa.com. "Italy fall to United States as lineup confirmed". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- FIFA.com. "FIFA USA beat Italy to seal final spot". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- mlssoccer.com. "MLS All-Star Game 2006". Archived from the original on July 27, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- ussoccer.com. "Chicago Fire Defeat L.A. Galaxy, 3–1, to Win Fourth U.S. Open Cup Title". Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- bbc.co.uk. "United States 15–48 Wales". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "ATHLETIC FACILITIES". rooseveltlakers.com. Roosevelt University. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
Men's and Women's Soccer Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL
- "A NEW ERA IN WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT, THE X LEAGUE". extfl.com. Extreme Football League. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- allaccess.com. "B96 Announces Summer Bash Lineup In Chicago". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- b96.radio.com. "B96 Pepsi SummerBash". Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Conner, Thomas (May 7, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson, Asher Roth, more at B96 Bash". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Soref, Dave. "Evanescence, Chevelle head up Carnival of Madness 2012 tour". Sound Spike Media LLC. Archived from the original on 2 October 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- pacebus.com. "Toyota Park Express Bus Service". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Pace selects Toyota Park for new transit center" (PDF). October 2013.
- "Lipinski announces construction of new transit center at Toyota Park". November 12, 2013.
- "2016 Chicago Fire Pub To Pitch Bus Schedule". Chicago Fire. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
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