MLS's Chicago Fire heading back to Soldier Field after sale

AFP
The Chicago Fire starting 11 pose before a game agaisnt Cruz Azul in July 2019 (AFP Photo/Quinn Harris)
The Chicago Fire starting 11 pose before a game agaisnt Cruz Azul in July 2019 (AFP Photo/Quinn Harris)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire have been sold, with Joe Mansueto, the billionaire founder of investment research firm Morningstar, taking control of the club on Friday.

The Fire announced that longtime chairman and owner Andrew Hauptmann has sold his controlling interest to Mansueto -- who had purchased a 49 percent stake in the club in 2018.

Mansueto will become chairman and sole owner "effective immediately," the team said.

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The club also announced that it will play its 2020 season at Soldier Field, fabled home of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

The Fire had announced earlier this week that it had concluded an agreement with suburban Bridgeview, where it had played at SeatGeek Stadium since 2006, to move back to central Chicago.

That move follows a trend in MLS of using venues near city centers.

The league has found its greatest success in terms of attendance in Atlanta and Seattle, where teams play in downtown stadiums also used by NFL teams.

"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," Hauptman said in a statement.

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