In 2015 the Chicago Fire Soccer Club recorded their worst season in club history. While watching the failed effort fans of the Fire were faced with unavoidable dwindling interest and limited motivation to get involved due to the frustrating performance of the Fire as an organization. Going into the 2016 season Fans finally may have some reason to hope. With the hire of GM Nelson Rodriguez, a clean out of the Fire staff, and the hire of new Head Coach Veljko Paunovic there may finally be reason to believe in the Fire again.
Section 8 Chicago Independent Supporter's Alliance board meeting
7 p.m., Atlantic Bar & Grill, 5062 N. Lincoln Ave
The end of 2015 is near, but there is still time to get involved with the Chicago Fire supporters' community. It is another period of change for the Chicago Fire. During this period it is not a time for fans to disengage. At this juncture fans need to become more involved in the community - whether their involvement is pressuring the Fire organization to return to success, unconditional enthusiasm, cheering improvements made by the Fire, or some other expression of support. The best way to achieve any or all of these goals is to get more involved in the Fire community.
One of the best ways to get involved in the community is engagement and participation in the Independent Supporters Association (ISA). The ISA, known more informally as Section 8 Chicago, is a group that seeks to represent all Chicago Fire supporters under an umbrella of its support, both affiliate supporters groups and independent supporters. The vision of the ISA is as follows:
". . . to unite all Chicago Fire fans, to create a dominant in-stadium force unseen in any American team sport and to establish a home-field advantage whenever the Chicago Fire play."
The ISA acts as a liaison between the club, supporters groups and independent supporters and seeks to foster passionate support in the community.
The opportunity to get involved is very near. The next ISA board meeting is tonight at 7:00 pm at the Atlantic Bar and Grill (5062 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625). The final board meeting of the year is usually an exciting one because it is the last meeting before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and it is also the last opportunity for candidates for the 2016 Board to publicly declare their intention to run. YOU CAN OFFICIALLY DECLARE UNTIL THE Jan. 1 DEADLINE.
If you are a person who has strong opinions about the fan base or how the community engages with the Chicago Fire as an organization, I suggest you consider running for a board position. Many board positions frequently run unopposed so running can be a way to directly influence the direction of the ISA's support of the Fire.
The open positions for the voluntary board are as follows:
If you intend to run, be prepared to work. Board involvement takes a significant time commitment. A board member must be highly motivated to be successful in a community with strong opinions and a history of success. Don't take candidacy lightly.
Not interested in board? It still takes a village to raise a soccer club. The Fire community needs thousands of engaged fans to mount a successful supporters effort and there are numerous other ways that a fan can become involved. Come on out to tonight's meeting and find out how you can become more involved.
With the end of another season, it is time for fans to renew, recharge and renew hope that 2016 will be a period of positive improvements for the Chicago Fire. Positive change does not only take place at the club level with the professionals - fans must play their part in positive change, encouraging improvements and becoming more engaged. Participating in the tonight's monthly ISA board meeting is a great place to start.