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As the Chicago Fire are forced out of Soldier Field for one match, Lightfoot touts “major contract” with the club

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Plus: Your Fire-NYCFC gameday guide, and how to watch

Ignacio Aliseda
Shivant Krishnan

Three days ago, because of a college football game one day earlier, the Chicago Fire played a game on an embarrassingly bad pitch that wouldn’t be suitable for any age level. With divots all over the field, and green paint covering the gridlines and logos, it was a terrible look for the Fire, Soldier Field, and the City of Chicago.

Tonight, the Fire are temporarily relocating to their old home, SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, for a game against New York City FC. That’s because Soldier Field’s other tenant, the Chicago Bears, have a five day window in their lease at the stadium. Because the Bears host the Lions on Sunday, the Fire can’t play there tonight.

Two giant reminders that the Fire are second-class citizens in their own stadium.

Late last night, when we were all in bed, The Athletic broke the news that the Bears have signed a purchase agreement for the Arlington International Racecourse, presumably to build a new stadium there. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is predictably furious the city’s most popular team wants to leave the city limits, saying this to The Athletic:

“[J]ust as the Bears view this as a business decision so does the City. This season, Soldier Field signed a major contract with the Chicago Fire and just last weekend Soldier Field hosted the Shamrock Series — both of which are lucrative for the Chicago Park District and local economy.”

The timing could not be more hilarious here.

If Lightfoot wants to tout the “major contract” with the Fire when it’s politically beneficial, it would be nice if, going forward, the Fire were treated a little better at their own home. After all, it’s the Fire who actually want to play in the city.

Anyway, here’s what you need to know about tonight’s game in Bridgeview. After tonight, the Fire finish with five of six on the road, because, well, you know.

Chicago Fire vs. NYCFC

MLS Match #28 | Wednesday, September 29 | SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL

Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT

TV: WGN-TV

Streaming: CFFC Live (in the Chicago market), ESPN+ (outside the Chicago market)

Radio: TUDN 1200 AM

Chicago Fire Injuries & Absences

  • OUT: Kenneth Kronholm (right knee)
  • OUT: Francisco Calvo (right thigh)
  • OUT: Brian Gutierrez (right ankle)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Luka Stojanovic (right ankle)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Boris Sekulic (back)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Carlos Teran (right thigh)

NYCFC Injuries & Absences

  • OUT: None

Next up for the Fire

Sunday, October 3 - Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire at BMO Field, Toronto, ON (3 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CFFC Live)

Saturday, October 16 - New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA (6 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CFFC Live)

Wednesday, October 20 - FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire at TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, OH (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CFFC Live)

Saturday, October 23 - Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake at Soldier Field, Chicago (7 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CFFC Live)

Wednesday, October 27 - New York City FC vs Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CFFC Live)

Sunday, November 7 - Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire at Lower.com Field, Columbus, OH (2:30 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CFFC Live)