Section 8 Press Release regarding Section 101 Ticket Holders

The ISA sent the following release to members of the press today concerning the ongoing issue of ticket holders in Section 101. We once again call upon the management of the Chicago Fire to sit down and meet with supporters to resolve this issue in good faith.

EFFORTS CONTINUE TO REINSTATE BANNED CHICAGO FIRE SUPPORTERS

Chicago Fire supporters groups unite in calls for the Chicago Fire Front Office to restore supporter privileges and revoked season tickets to banned supporters.

 

(CHICAGO, IL) — Following the unprecedented revocation of 200+ season tickets, the supporters groups of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club have united and returned to Toyota Park Saturday, July 21 in an effort to bring awareness to the ban and show their support to the players.

On June 2, 2018, the widely-known Sector Latino (a Barra-style group of primarily-Hispanic supporters who have been a dedicated and passionate presence in Toyota Park since its inception in 2005) was issued a series of sanctions resulting from past conduct violations. The group acknowledged those violations and vowed to adhere to the MLS Fan Code of Conduct henceforth. During that day’s match, an individual allegedly ignited a smoke bomb in the group’s seating section 101. Group leadership of Sector Latino responded by immediately extinguishing the smoke device and attempting to work with Monterrey Security, as well as Toyota Park personnel, to identify the perpetrator(s), which security was unable to do.

Following the match, Chicago Fire Front Office, led by president and GM Nelson Rodriguez, issued a revocation of season tickets for over 200 people whose tickets were located in Section 101, including those not affiliated with Sector Latino or who were not even present at the match. The chance to appeal was offered and quickly accepted, but the process resulted in a revocation of season tickets for the aforementioned, the permanent loss of all supporters privileges and recognition for Sector Latino, and the suspension of ticket-buying privileges from the club for those who had been seated in 101. This move stunned and dismayed a devoted community, both locally in Chicago and across the broader soccer community.

“As independent representatives of all Fire supporters, the ISA [Independent Supporters Association] rejects the discriminatory ban of former ticket holders in Section 101. The actions that Nelson Rodriguez and the Fire management have taken serves only to severely erode the collaborative spirit and trust between supporters and management that this club was built on. We seek a return to the trusting relationship between the community and the team that once made Chicago Fire S.C. a flagship team in a young league,” says Section 8 Chicago chair, Dan Giroux.

Following a month-long boycott, the devoted supporters clubs returned to Toyota Park for the Saturday, July 21 match that saw the Fire take on Toronto F.C. An incident during the match between a season ticket holder and Monterrey Security has again raised concerns among supporters about the security company’s practices and policies. The ISA has requested another formal meeting with the Chicago Fire FO to discuss this event, as well as work toward a resolution for the dedicated season ticket holders of section 101.

  Contact: Dan Giroux  Email: dang@s8c.org Phone: 781-752-8350

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