BRIDGEVIEW, IL - OCTOBER 08: Fans of the Chicago Fire celebrate a win over the Columbus Crew in an MLS match on October 8, 2010 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. The Fire defeated the Crew 2-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
A couple of months ago, representatives from Section 8 Chicago and the Chicago Fire front office sat down and came up with the goal of selling 800 Section 8 season tickets for the 2011 season. It was also decided that Section 8 would expand from Sections 118 & 119 at Toyota Park to cover the entire north end of the stands - Sections 116-119. When I first heard this idea, I was skeptical to say the least. Just look at the numbers here:
2006 Season Tickets in S8: 89
2007 Season Tickets in S8: 148
2008 Season Tickets in S8: 312
2009 Season Tickets in S8: 293
2010 Season Tickets in S8: 389
To top if off, the Fire were going to enter the season without C.J. Brown, without Brian McBride and without a couple of other players who have been crucial to the team's identity and marketing strategy throughout the years. 800 tickets? 4 sections of the stadium? This is the city of "Make No Little Plans" and Daniel Burnham but this was madness I thought. Yeah about that...
That's 787 like the planes that the great Chicago company Boeing produces. That's 787 as in a 100% increase from last year and a 900% increase from 2006. At this point it is not a matter of 'IF' but a matter of 'WHEN' Section 8 becomes Section 800. The story of the success will be told in the next coming week no doubt but for now the celebration of the feat is quickly approaching. Will you be the lucky person to strike the number 800? If you have not bought your ticket yet, have been on the fence, have not considered buying an extra season ticket yet and I have your interest, or have no idea what the offer is, let's go over it one last time before opening day:
$200 for a Section 8 season ticket (purchase here)
Full Details listed below and at this link here
-17 Chicago Fire home games
-2 Bonus games (one international friendly and one playoff game that is credited to your account if the Fire don't make it)
-An exclusive Section 8 Chicago season ticket holder t-shirt designed by supporters
-A Chicago Fire blanket
-Exclusive season ticket holder invite to Meet the Team event on April 2nd
-If Section 8 reaches 800 tickets, the Chicago Fire are giving every Section 8 season ticket holder a free bus trip to the Sunday, June 12 game in Columbus, OH.
If you cannot make a game, you can turn in your ticket after the game is over and exchange it for a future game depending on ticket availability. This is a great way to work around your schedule and get friends and family out to the park at a great price. Single-game Section 8 tickets are $20 so having the $10 discount is a significant savings every game. Even if you already have your season tickets, you might want to buy a 'friend' ticket that will accumulate extra tickets for every game. You could go with two other people to half the games and everyone saves $100 all around plus you get an extra blanket. If you have a friend on the fence, don't forget that you can refer them. Referrals receive 20% of your season ticket back to you in cash and your friend will get 5% off their off season ticket holder purchase.
Major credit goes to the Chicago Fire ticket sales office and Section 8 for combining to come up with a great sales plan. Major credit to Section 8 and the Chicago Fire ticket sales office for accomplishing that goal. The work begins on selling more (can they reach 1,000?) and maintaining a quality product that extends from parking to the team playing on the field but this is truly a moment to celebrate for all parties involved. Onward and upward Chicago.