Fire Announce Unique Supporters Charter

The Fire in conjunction with Section 8 Chicago have announced the signing of a very unique agreement designed to encourage and promote a cooperative partnership between the Fire and their fans.  The Charter is a result of 18 months of ongoing discussions and collaboration between the Fire and Section 8 designed to improve and maximize the fan experience at Toyota Park.  As part of the Charter, the Fire organization has pledged to keep a line of open communication between the supporters and the club. 

Fire President Dave Greeley sees the Charter as more than a set of rules and standards, "The Charter represents all fans and supporters and intends to connect the club to the fans.  It spells out our DNA for all to see in a constitutional format giving fans an idea of what to expect from the club".

The Charter is not exclusive to Section 8 and represents a written covenance that does not exist elsewhere in American sports.

Section 8 Chicago Chairman Tom Dunmore explains that the Charter was created after the group approached the Fire organization with some concerns.  The Fire front office showed a willingness to listen and made honest efforts to address the issues.  "The Charter was created together with the Fire with a bigger vision while both continue working towards the same goals" said Dumore. 

The goal is to promote more involvement and support for the sport and the club while being attentive to the suggestion of the fan base. Several drafts and meetings resulted in the final version.  According to Dunmore, Fire owner Andrew Hauptman addressed the issues personally and provided hands on input toward the completion of the document. 

The ultimate intent of the Charter is to establish an open rapport between the club and it's fans.  This is a good thing and it's something that you'll probably see other sports organizations (not just MLS) begin to emulate. 

The document will be mailed to all season ticket holders and will be made available to all fans attending matches at Toyota Park.  It will also be made available in different languages as well.

 The Charter can be viewed here

More information available here and here

The cf97 site also includes a form for feedback that will be shared with the club.


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  • Do you think this Charter is really going to make a difference? It seems like a lot of it is just repeating that supporters aren't allowed to use obscene language or gestures and bring fireworks, flares, or smoke bombs into the stadium.

  • In reply to eplkewell:

    I think it definitely signifies a commitment by the club to be more attentive to the needs and requests of the fan base. It's about alot more then rules.

  • If they're commited to making it more entertaining, why are they doing away with flares? That's one of the things that makes soccer soccer. Also, vevuzelas and all noisemakers should be allowed. Same as the streamers. If they're so concerned about 'atmosphere,' why are they destroying it? Does the sacred casual fan not like the smell of flares? It says that the Fire want to respect their fans and stuff. Then respect them. If you're scared of flares, don't come. Why don't we stop setting off fireworks during the anthem? It's in the charter. I give the Fire points for trying. However, it's obvious they didn't try very hard.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    Majority of the stadium can't smell flares anyway. It's also not sober adults that are lighting the flares in the stadium anyway. It is usually people that have been drinking for a good half day and pull out a flare and light it then throw it on the ground because they don't want to get caught with it. They don't look where they are throwing it, they just throw it. Looks cool, but pretty dangerous...

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    "if you're scared of flares, don't come."

    Does that apply to players, too? To stadium staff and vendors? To referees and team staff?

    We can ban smoking in the entire state of Illinois for the benefit of the working stiffs who have to breathe the air where they work, and we can't work to provide the employees of the Fire and their affiliated organizations a workplace where they don't have to fear being set on fire, or clobbered by a bottle, by their customers?

    The difference between the club setting off fireworks and the supporters is, of course, that the club hires professionals to do it according to established safety rules and the club and/or the fireworks companies pay for insurance policies. And it does NOT say in the charter that NO ONE inside TP can set off flares, just supporters. Saying that "it's in the charter" is like saying the word "flare" is in the charter and therefore it's a recognized form of support for the team.

    You don't really expect the Fire to agree to something that MLS would veto and which would leave the team and the league open to lawsuits, do you?

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    Flares? What Flares?

    Seriously...I think you'll probably still see flares as long as they're handled responsibly.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    Flares don't make soccer soccer, they make it look South American or something of that nature. The team is not being a buzzkill by not allowing something that must certainly be illegal.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    Um, flares were not allowed before this charter was created

    that didn't seem to stop them

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    Flares were never allowed for obvious reasons, however I do think it makes the atmosphere exciting. I plan to swear like a sailor when ever I get the urge in spite of what ever this charter says.I know alot of these guidelines are set to make it family friendly and safe, but what's the point in a charter if many of the fans see alot of what is stated as just bullshit and lip service.

  • you do realize how dangerous flares are if they allowed everyone to bring them in right?

  • In reply to lijien:


    Vevuzelas are as annoying as cowbells. They will probably be the reason I will be watching the World Cup on mute this summer. They should be banned from every sporting event in the world.

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