The COVID-19 pandemic halted plans to have famed English football announcer Arlo White call Chicago Fire matches last season. But if all goes well, Fire fans will get to hear White on the mic at Soldier Field this summer.
“That’s the plan, during the Premier League off season.” White wrote on Instagram. “I’m looking forward to seeing the MLS schedule for 2021. It’s going to be a fantastic experience, calling games at Soldier Field!”
The Fire confirmed it’s still the plan to have White, who is NBC’s lead announcer for the Premier League, head stateside for a select number of matches in 2021, but it’ll all depend on schedules and the state of the pandemic this summer. Fire games will again be shown on WGN-TV, but it’s unclear at this point if there will be a streaming partner as well. The team’s three-year deal with ESPN+ expired after the 2020 season.
Last February, in what was a huge coup for the club, White had agreed to call 10 or so matches for the Fire while the Premier League was on summer break. The plan called for regular play-by-play guy Tyler Terens to move to a sideline or pregame role to allow White to step in alongside Tony Meola. For a multitude of reasons, the pandemic prevented the plan from coming together.
White grew up traveling to Chicago to visit family, so the opportunity to call matches at Soldier Field was special for him. He consistently calls Chicago his favorite U.S. city, and he’s a massive Bears and Cubs fan. He’s also no stranger to Major League Soccer. White called Seattle Sounders games a decade ago before joining NBC, where he’s been ever since.