On the MLS Code of Conduct and Commissioner Garber’s statement

Statement on MLS Code of Conduct

Section 8 Chicago rejects fascism and joins with all expressing concern for the safety and security of their fellow supporters. Commissioner Garber’s casual dismissal of known fascists freely attending matches is abhorrent. Fascism leads to genocide and has no place at MLS games or in the communities where they are played.

Concurrently, banners expressing support and solidarity for marginalized peoples across the country and globe are removed from MLS stadia–under the auspices of “political speech” policies Garber has approved in the MLS Code of Conduct. S8C joins the ISC, Portland’s 107ist, and other supporters throughout the league calling for the league to affirm that such policies do not preclude expressing our shared values of inclusion, tolerance, and mutual respect.

Denouncing fascism is not a divisive political act. It is necessary for fan safety. Don’t cross the line by obfuscating that reality.

– Section 8 Chicago ISA

MATCHDAY INFO: March 9 Chicago Fire vs Orlando

The Chicago Fire’s home kickoff of the 2019  campaign is this Saturday, March 9 at noon. Section 8 Chicago is offering ticket deals, season ticket deals, a tailgate with tubed meats and non-meats, and much more. Whether this is your first match of 500th, here’s the info you’ll need to make it all happen.

We’re offering single match tickets for $20 or a ticket AND a scarf for $30. These are first-run scarves and not dusty old deadstock. This is at least a $40+ dollar value. On top of that, it’ll also be cold. Don’t catch a cold, wear a scarf!

Tickets for 137/138 are also available through our Ticket Leap site. Proceeds benefit Section 8 Chicago and Sections 137/138.

Season tickets are still on sale at last year’s price. Call your ticket rep today!



Section 8 Chicago will be providing Chicago dogs (vegan too!), chips, and likely some refreshing beverages. A five dollar suggested donation gets you fed and provides valuable funds for the ISA’s operations like tifo funds, subsidized bus trips, and other expenses. The tailgate is located in the east lot. Look for the POD storage units. All are welcome!

Getting to the stadium: 

Drive if that’s your thing. No wheels? No problem. Check out the Reggie’s Bus. Single rides and season passes are available. Pub to Pitch also offers coach bus rides from a wide variety of locations throughout the city.


We will have it! Look for Merch Director Nate at the S8C tailgate near the Pods. Crewnecks have been by far the hottest item of the year and are going fast with their two-sided print on a classic Hanes heavyweight crew. We also will have the distinctive Full Power HD, Niko, and other fresh scarves. Come see us. Cash and credit accepted.


We’re still working on getting Tom Skilling to write this section but, for now, a quick scan says this one could get a little damp towards the end of the match. Temperature looks to be in the upper 40s. Bring rain gear and some lip balm – Seat Geek Stadium is in an unusually windy microclimate.

Have a question? Hit us up on Twitter @Section8Chicago or email communications@s8c.org.

Engine Company: All the Authenticity of an Expendables Cast

To experience the joys of supporter culture former S8C Director of Events Jacob Peters provides us some background on Fire history, rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire games. Next up, First Match of the Season in La La Land (well, technically further from La La Land than Bridgeview is from Chicago). As always…

Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.

7pm CT Saturday March 2nd vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Chicago Fire will play in a stadium that actually has a lot in common with their home field. Dignity Health Sports Park is further from the closest part of Los Angeles than SeatGeek Stadium is from the closest part of Chicago, as well as further from downtown Los Angeles. The primary difference is that the Galaxy have thrown enough money at their rost to make up for their less-than-central locations. It is surrounded by just as few things to do before or after a match and is equally out of the way by public transit. Despite this, the Galaxy have proven that the location doesn’t matter…if you spend (Keane-like) money on Beckham, Landon Donovan, Zlatan, Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Gio and Jonathan Dos Santos.

Smog caused by the burning of MLS salary cap rules


Through 2006 we had played each other twice in the playoffs each emerging victorious once, both had only missed the playoffs once, and each won 5 titles. 4 US Open Cups and an MLS Cup for the Fire. 2 US Open Cups, 2 MLS Cups, and a CONCACAF Champions Cup for the Galaxy. Since then you know the diversion in fate, since then we have watched as this big market team playing in the middle of nowhere has proven that it is possible.   

Jorge Campos Memorial Bedpan (rendering)

Anyway back to the hate.

Burns — A Brief Critique of a Major League Soccer’s (white/navy blue and) golden child:

This is more of something that burns us because of the unfairness of it all, rather than our normal set of insults because you can’t talk about the success the Galaxy have had without addressing why. It’s a running joke amongst everyone who follows MLS that the league bends over backward in order to make sure that the LA Galaxy have the best possible (financial) opportunity to win.

When they wanted to sign David Beckham but the MLS Salary Cap stood in the way of them doing so without sacrificing the entire rest of their lineup, the league made up a workaround on the spot referred to by most simply as “The Beckham Rule”. Which allowed any team to only have one player that made more than a set amount.

Real cash, not MLS banana stand money

When the Galaxy wanted to sign more designated players, MLS updated the rules to allow for more. Eventually, they added Targeted Allocation Money (which had been originally rumored to be called “Core Player” designation) because the Galaxy wanted to add even more players making more than the league maximum. Even this year, the Galaxy are restructuring a contract with a player in order for him not to count as a Designated Player (like how they backloaded Nigel De Jong and Zlatan’s contracts) which technically violates MLS Players Association rules.


Other teams have tried to pull these shenanigans and been thwarted in the past, so it’s nice to see that this time around the rules that apply to the rest of us are at least in a minimal way applying to the Galaxy. We will find out on Saturday whether Gio Dos Santos will still be playing for MLS’s spoiled child.

Sound of Sirens — Fire chants to Shout at Galaxy:

Over the years our jeers of Galaxy players have usually been player specific, oftentimes aimed at teasing the many players who have gone to LA after playing in Chicago before, right now there are 2 options:

  • Matt Lampson:
    • “We loved Lamp, We loved Lamp…We Hate Lamp, We Hate Lamp”
  • Juninho: Sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
    • “Where did you go Juninho? Where did you go Juninho? Where did you go Juninho, even when you were on the Fire?”

Watch Commander — Where to See the Game, and What to Look For:

Are you LA and didn’t already buy a ticket? WTF?!? Contact S8C either via Twitter or communications@s8c.org and we’ll try to help you out. 

Meanwhile, if you’re staying in Chicago, there are a trio of watch parties being promoted by different groups:

    • The Section 8 Chicago ISA Board
      • The Globe Pub near the Irving Park Brown Line just east of Damen.
        • The Fanciest Shot + Beer Special: $8 for FEW whiskey and a Krombacher
        • Check the tweeter, there will be others
        • 21+
    • Arson City Ultras
      • Liar’s Club just west of Clybourn on Fullerton.
        • Free Pizza
        • Live Music after the game including by the artists you know fondly as “Sector Musical”.
        • 21+



      • $4 Heineken drafts, raffles for opening day tickets & an away jersey
      • Music Provided by Section 8 Chicago’s very own DJ Step
      • All Ages

MATCH PREVIEW: Chicago Fire vs Charleston discount AAA Batteries

To experience the joys of supporter culture, former S8C Director of Events Jacob Peters provides us some background on Fire history, rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire games.

Next up, Spring Training warm-up matches in Charleston, SC. As always…

Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.

6:30pm CT Saturday Feb. 23rd vs. the Charleston Battery

Definitely a bad look

No, they aren’t the factory team for a Duracell competitor. They are our gracious hosts for the Carolina Challenge Cup, a lower division team playing in the rebranded <with fake british announcer voice> “USL Championship”. The Battery are named after a really nice portion of reinforced coastline that has a…really problematic white supremacist-y monument (pictured on the left). They are tied for the oldest continuously operating professional soccer club in the United States, so you’ve got to give them credit for surviving through thick and thin, while hundreds of other lower division clubs have folded, paused, rebranded, moved, etc. in the years since they started in 1993.

The last time that the Fire played the Charleston Battery was in the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup, winning 2-1. I could have sworn there had been another time between then and now, but we haven’t played them in a U.S. Open Cup game since they beat us in penalty kicks in 2010.

Sound of Sirens — Fire chants to Shout at the Battery:

We really have not played them enough to have any hateful team specific chants about them. I guess we can reuse “yellow fucking team”? But it’s a lower division team that we’re not likely to ever see more than once in a calendar year, so should even put in the effort? Just cheer pro Fire stuff and hope our boys build some confidence.

Watch Party:

Join Black Fires (and most of us!) at Reggie’s (2105 S. State Street)


Supporters’ Group of the Month: Black Fires

Many of those involved with Section 8 Chicago and in the broader Chicago soccer community choose to express their support for the Chicago Fire by forming supporters’ clubs. These clubs are as diverse as Chicago Fire fans themselves. For many, the appeal of forming a supporters’ club is being able to gather with like-minded friends and fans as well as attracting new ones based on shared interests. We’ll be featuring a new club every month and are thrilled to kick this off with one of the newest clubs on the scene, Black FiresFounder of Black Fires, Jake

We spoke with Jake Payne, founder of Black Fires about the group, their focus, and their upcoming watch party at Reggie’s (2105 S. State Street) on February 23 for the final match of the Carolina Cup which sees the Chicago Fire take on the Charleston Battery. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. but festivities start at 6 p.m. on the Reggie’s Rooftop Deck (fear not, it’s heated!), featuring drink specials and of course, the match streamed live. There will be a raffle to benefit My Block, My Hood, My City featuring game-worn player gear and more. Black Fires will also be debuting new merch soon, including their Black Heritage Scarf shown below. 

What is your club’s name? Black Fires

What is the story behind your SG’s name? We’re celebrating black culture and we like the Fire.

When was your SG founded? We really got together around September 11, 2018. That’s at least when we made our purpose statement.

What upcoming projects is your SG working on? Right now we’re focused on our Black History Month event at Reggie’s. After that, we want to have buses that go to the pitch from Southside buses.

Why did you choose to found this SG? We saw how other supporters groups celebrated their heritage, like Polish and Latinx/Hispanic [focused groups], and brought those elements into supporters’ culture. Black culture hasn’t had that same opportunity to do that so we got together to start that in Chicago. We also want other black fans to have a place to go and avoid the “only black person in the room” syndrome that we’ve felt and to give black fans the same voice that other groups have in the Fire community.

What are the specific interests or focus of the SG? We want to open things up for black fans all over Chicago, do initiatives on the South and West side, give back to black charities, and celebrate Black culture. The dream is to have our own Black Fires chant and two poles. We really want us to have the same prominence as Sector Latino and Red Line.

What are you / your SG most excited about in the upcoming season? We just want to get started growing and getting new fans into the stadium and growing the connection with existing fans.


Big thanks to Jake for taking the time to speak with us. We’re excited to see what the future holds. Stayed tuned next month for a new featured supporters’ club.


MATCH PREVIEW: Chicago Fire vs FC Cincinnati Fussball/Futbol/Football Club of Ohio

To experience the joys of supporter culture, former S8C Director of Events Jacob Peters provides some background on Fire history, rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire games.

Next up, Spring Training warm-up matches in Charleston, SC. As always…

Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.


6:30pm CT Wednesday Feb. 20th vs. FC Cincinnati

We’ve played this team once before, it was a heartbreaking loss in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. My biggest memory of the game was having to explain to a Cincinnati soccer tourist that the reason they were surrounded by 100 people in Red and White giving him the stink eye is that his drunk ass had stumbled into the visiting supporters’ section. He cried “at Reds games the Cubs fans don’t have to sit in a separate area”, which perfectly encapsulated the learning curve that many Cincy fans are struggling up. As the Carolinians would say…”bless their hearts”.

I personally am more fond of Cincinnati than most after going to college there and honestly falling in love with the awesome weird people that I met there while fighting against the entrenched and thoroughly dull status quo of the city. However, I have to keep my partisan cap on and draw attention to the truly idiotic things that their try-hard front office have done.


I’m not just talking about their logo redesign that is problematic for many reasons but maybe I’m just a sucker for that old lion and all that negative space magic they had going. (that “C” in the tail is a tad bit “cavalier” don’t you think?) Or the fact that their first team is going to be wearing replica jerseys…during league games. 

For example, the FC originally stood for “Futbol Club”…why? No clue. They “rebranded” to Fussball Club Cincinnati because they wanted to embrace “the area’s high population of residents with German heritage”. Which is just absolutely hilarious since the Germans don’t spell it that way, instead they utilize the eszett as in “Fußball”. Which means that FC Cincy just rebranded themselves to pay homage to how they can’t do basic research into the translation of the sport known as soccer to most of their suburban fans. Just be glad it’s not as bad as their “Zinzinnati” shtick.

What is it with Ohio teams and embracing all the wrong things about German culture? Anyway, Cincinnati does have the largest Oktoberfest in North America, and it happens to be the same weekend that the Fire play there this year. So…you should probably make a weekend of it, and bring down a bunch of Chicago beers to show them one of the many ways that we do Germany better than they do.

This is how you embrace German heritage ya posers:


Sound of Sirens — Fire chants to Shout at Cincy:

This really is only our second game ever against them, so we don’t have that deep of a stable of chants against Cincy yet. Share your best ideas in the lead up to the game on Wednesday with the hashtag #cf97. Here’s my contribution:

  • “Nothing Rhymes with Orange” to the tune of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
    • “Nothing Rhymes with Orange, Nothing Rhymes with Orange, Nothing Rhymes with Orange, aren’t you Blue?”



Members of the Section 8 Chicago ISA 2019 will be at Cleo’s for this match (1935 W. Chicago Ave) enjoying half off burgers, $4 Revolution beers, and $3 Malort – yikes!

Return of Organized Support to Chicago Fire Home Matches

021319 PR S8C

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                

Front Office staff and Chicago Fire Supporters have reached an agreement to return to home matches at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois.

At the conclusion of a series of meetings between Chicago Fire front office staff, representatives from Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters’ Association (ISA), as well as a number of other Chicago Fire supporters have reached an amicable consensus and the ISA is excited to announce a return to in-stadium organized support.

“After several months of boycott against the Chicago Fire front office’s suspension policy, we look forward to returning to in-stadium support for the 2019 season. We encourage supporters to embody the values instilled in us as supporters of our club – Tradition, Honor, Passion,” said Nicole Hack, Chairperson Section 8 Chicago.

“I’d personally like to thank Nicole Hack, Marty Tomszak, Joel Piktel and the entire leadership of Section 8 for their desire to find common ground,” said Chicago Fire Soccer Club President and General Manager Nelson Rodríguez. “Our players are looking forward to having loud and colorful sections at both ends of the stadium throughout the season.”

Section 137 has been designated as an additional Supporters’ Section in SeatGeek Stadium. This decision was reached as a collaborative initiative between Chicago Fire supporters after a choice was given by the Chicago Fire Front Office between sections 137, 134, and 101.

Season tickets will be available in the Supporters’ Sections (section 137 and the Harlem End-sections 117 and 118) at the previously-offered renewal pricing. People purchasing season tickets in the Supporters’ sections will be required to adhere to the MLS Fan Code of Conduct as well as the Supporters’ Charter and the Rights and Responsibilities of a Supporter document. Fans interested in purchasing season tickets will need to contact ticket reps directly. Day-of-game tickets and individual tickets in these sections will only be available for purchase through Section 8 Chicago. For additional information on supporters’ season tickets visit www.chicago-fire.com/supporters or call a member of the Season Ticket Services team at (708) 496-6800.

We are also proud to expand our partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD), the Fire For Food Drive, by including the Chicago Fire Soccer Club (CFSC) in several of our upcoming fundraising events. Additionally, Fire players, staff, and supporters will jointly volunteer at the GCFD throughout the season.

The ISA is hopeful that this is the beginning of a renewed positive relationship with the stewards of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club as the entire community looks to attain success on and off the field. Updates will be provided as the two sides continue dialogue throughout the season.


ISA Annual Report

2018 will be a year not easily forgotten for Fire supporters. Another year of failure on the pitch was compounded by one of the worst years in supporters’ relations this community has ever seen. It has been a turbulent year to say the least, and there is much work still to be done by the 2019 ISA before these problems are behind us.

This year was demanding on many levels for the community. Difficult decisions needed to be made on both the community and individual level, whether it was the stance on active support or a personal decision about what your relation with the team will be next season. No matter how you feel about these questions, I would like to acknowledge the difficulties that many members of our community faced this year, especially my fellow board members. We are all people with jobs, families, some of us even have hobbies and passions outside of soccer. Balancing our real lives and the demands of serving this community has never been easy, but 2018 asked many people on the board, and in the community at large, to go above and beyond. Next year will almost certainly ask the 2019 ISA to rise above also. First and foremost I would like to thank all of those people who gave, and will continue to give, so much of your time volunteering for this community.

Despite the challenges faced this year, and maybe even in defiance of these challenges, we also saw some of the best aspects and the true camaraderie of this community. At times when we were faced with some of our hardest decisions in the stadium, the community reached new heights outside of the stadium. The ISA continued the work started by former chair Scott Greene over the previous two years to shore up the ISA’s legal and financial standing. While our coffers, and patience, have been seriously drained at times by this endeavor, I can say Section 8 Chicago, as a legal entity, is now ready to move forward in good standing.

The 2018 board also elected and helped empower a whole new subcommittee for the Fire community, the October 8th Committee. This three person group was elected to a five year term with the goal of preparing the next anniversary party and having a general mandate to preserve an independent history of the team and it’s supporters. This group has already overseen another successful Malort 5k and you will be hearing more from them over the next four years as we gear up for the 25th anniversary of the team. I would like to thank Betsy, Scott and Tweed for serving on this group.

The ISA also started and executed several new projects this year that will hopefully continue through next year and the future. One of my goals as chair was the protection of our various intellectual properties. I am happy to say, with the help of Fire supporter Heidi Thole, we have filed six marks that can be found on page four. We tried new approaches to away games and watch parties, giving us unique new experiences like our early season train journey to Minnesota or the watch party at the Davis theater in Lincoln Square, special thanks to Nikita for organizing this watch party to benefit immunotherapy research at Northwestern Medicine. We had some great times with our sisters and brothers from both Local 134 and Portland’s 107ists for an amazing doubleheader early in the year. The list goes on, but overall this year was not all doom and gloom.

This is especially apparent when I look at the accomplishments our Fire family made in the larger community this year. With the help of Oliver Kolb we continued our work with Buckledown Brewing on creating Lager 97, an S8C beer available in cans this season, and with the help of Marty Tomszak we started growing a new partnership with Goose Island to create the Keller 31 beer and get it on tap most of the places you could actually watch a Fire game this season. We renewed and furthered our work with many community partners and kept our tradition of donating tickets to several CPS schools in order to get kids out to games who may not normally have that opportunity. Last but not least, we raised and gave back a lot of money this year. Our community gave back over $20,000 to charitable causes across this season, including our crown jewel of charity projects, the Fire for Food Drive. Piloted by Marty, the Fire for Food Drive raised a total of $10,000 which was donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, allowing those without access to stable food resources to live with greater dignity and security. While the team may not have finished top of the table, Fire supporters are still one of the league leaders in charitable activities and we have every right to be proud of that.

All of these accomplishments leave me feeling no despair when I look at the future of this community, but a strong belief that no matter what the circumstances of the team or league, this group of people, our identity, and our values will remain strong. You don’t need to agree with the stances of everyone on the board next year or all of your fellow supporters to remember that this is still a rare group of like minded people that are capable of accomplishing great things. I have full confidence that the 2019 board will only build upon the successes of 2018 and keep this momentum going with our projects outside of the stadium. While the team and management may not always reflect the passion and expectations of our community, always remember this is OUR community and we can make of it what we will. Despite any set backs, we can, and will, still deliver amazing results in our own efforts and can remind people of the greatness Chicago and what it’s supporters are capable of.

It has been a pleasure serving this community,

Dan Giroux, ISA Board Member 2015-2018

ISA Annual Report

2019 AGM

It’s time once more for the ISA’s Annual General Meeting. Join us on January 19th as we catch up on the year that was and elect a new Section 8 board of directors.

The AGM will be held at Schubas Tavern, with doors opening at noon and the meeting starting at 1pm. We will hear from outgoing chair Dan Giroux on the state of the ISA and then have a Q&A with 2019 board candidates. Following the Q&A members in attendance will vote on the 2019 board.

If you are interested in running for a position on the 2019 ISA, inform vice-chair Nicole Hack of your candidacy, in writing or by email, no later than December 19th.

If you cannot make the AGM but still wish to vote, you can request an absentee ballot, starting on December 19th. For an absentee ballot, request one from Nicole Hack, who will email you the ballot and instructions for mailing it back.

Nicole Hack : Nicole@s8c.org 

Schubas Tavern : 3159 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

An update on ongoing talks with the front office, 11/15

We would like to update the community on the ongoing discussions with the Front Office about the situation with section 101.

Last night 11/15 #cf97 supporters continued talk with the front office. Participants included people from Section 101, The Harlem End and elsewhere throughout Toyota Park. No agreements were reached and talks are ongoing. We will continue to represent the interests of all supporters of the Chicago Fire and keep the community updated as the situation develops.