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 http://www.chicago-fire.com/sites/default/files/pictures/SupportersCharter_0.pdf.
More information available here http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2010/04/supporters-charter-signed and here http://www.cf97.com/.
The cf97 site also includes a form for feedback that will be shared with the club.