Independent Supporter's Association statement on "editorial" and fan safety

The Chairman of the Independent Supporter's Association/Section 8 Chicago has issued a statement regarding last week's Fire "editorial" and fan safety. Below is the statement in it's entirety:


"The past few years have seen steady positive growth in the relationship between Fire supporters, ownership, management, and security. The implementation of the club charter has been a central point in that growth, and fan safety has doubtlessly improved as a result, along with an expanded season ticket base and other concerns.

That the Chicago Fire Soccer Club willingly gave themselves the stigma of an unsafe experience through publication of the editorial piece posted on Wednesday, August 21 is particularly saddening considering the years of the lives of several of us in S8C leadership roles have dedicated to that very issue.

Had an editorial been published that addressed, in a honest and constructive manner, (or even a meandering and unfocused manner) the public safety issues that emerged during the 2010 Superliga match vs. UNAM Pumas, I would have considered Andrew Hauptman to be a responsible and forward-thinking leader, and if such editorial was penned by some new guy six months on the job, he would be immediately recognized as a great hire and a bold communicator of the critical issues. At that match, dozens of Fire and Pumas fans fought in the stands with wooden poles and projectiles, unchecked and abandoned by security for nearly 8 minutes.

No editorial was published following that incident. In fact, there was no official public communication from the club.

What did happen immediately after that event was ISA volunteers fully committed themselves to ensuring that nothing like that would ever happen again at Toyota Park. Club officials collaborated in this effort, though their work was behind the scenes and not in the full view of the public and the MLS community nationwide. Using the framework outlined in the then-newly ratified Club Charter (, the ISA and our partners committed ourselves to the values of mutual respect and personal integrity to work through one of the most challenging issues any sports club can face. I firmly believe that our Charter came to life in those difficult meetings. The positive and constructive relationships which were formed in Charter development were further strengthened and realized in the aftermath of the Pumas incident. The lessons learned serve as the foundation of the manner of the way the Independent Supporters Association approaches difficult situations and maintains a commitment to safety issues.

I will confess that commitment has taken its toll on this volunteer at times, but I am extremely proud of our collective accomplishments in this area. We are miles away from where we were just a few short years ago. The participants in the Harlem End and Sector Latino deserve high praise for their growth and maturity. Monterrey Security has been top notch in the areas of the Park most prone to safety issues and conflicts.

Recently, the exhibition match with Club America was one of the smoothest, happiest such matches we've ever had, thanks to the planning, communication, and execution of game day operations by the front office staff, Monterrey Security, and the Independent Supporters’ Association. As I watched the match and spoke to the many fans of both teams that day, I did pause a moment to reflect on what I was seeing, that fun and relaxed evening was a clear demonstration of how far the ISA and our partners have come.

Public safety is a priority of the fan Association for the Club. We do give our hearts and put our own personal safety on the line for it. It is part of who we are, at home and on the road.

The club’s owner should be proud of us. Maybe he is. I could not tell from Mr Lobring's editorial.

We look forward to continued collaboration and success with the club on the issue of fan safety, as well as any and all topics important to fans, supporters, and employees of the club.

Go Fire,

Joel Piktel


Section 8 Chicago

The Independent Supporters Association

for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club



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  • Great sentiment. It's good to hear an official response to the club's rant.

    That said, you kinda wish the editing team at the ISA was a little stronger, but they're volunteers, not communications professionals.

    It'll be interesting to hear what, if any, response is issued from the FO.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    That being said, I believe the ISA response was more coherent and well thought out than the editorial.

    I'm glad to see that the ISA chose to focus on stadium safety and not stoop to the level of the editorial. ISA's response was professional, the editorial used the word "sh*tty", need I say more?

  • The Pumas incident was pretty bad, way to make a point. I guess the safety of the people in the cheap seats doesn't matter as much as the feelings of those in the second star club . Excellent response!

  • Just reminder....2 games tonight.

    The Fire probably won't get any help from Toronto FC at home against New England.

    RSL has Portland at home on NBCSN.

  • Guys to really fix the team and move it away from this marginal cloud that has followed the team for a number of years they should fire klopas and Leon. I have been one of those season ticket owners that has always said I wod not renew then went ahead and renewed. This year I Am not moving until the field management group is gone. It still floors me that the worst Player ( the big MAC) on the team was thought to be the best. Who other than klopas and Leon could have been so stupid.
    Really funny I received a call from my team rep trying to encourage me to re up she in a light way told me that they might have to sell my seats unless I reup. I would imagine that there will always be a few seats to buy while Old Artie is the owner. It would be the best day in chicago if Old Spoiled Artie sold the team .

  • The five finalists for the Third Kit contest have been announced.....

    #4 is the pick for me

  • MLS weekend picks

    Columbus 1 Seattle 2
    Philadelphia 1 Montreal 1
    New York 2 DC 1
    Sporting KC 3 Colorado 2
    Los Angeles 2 San Jose 0
    Vancouver 2 Chivas USA 0
    Chicago 1 Houston 1

    Record 110/241

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Nice picks so far this weekend. Let's hope you're wrong about today's match though :-)

  • They are all nice. I was sold on having the flag on my chest until I saw all of them. Would be happy to get any one of them really. If they sell poorly, no one will be able to blame me as I will have done my part.

    Anyway, about the response... It's not a work of art, and it didn't go head to head with the editorial (which was a bit disappointing), but I guess nobody can blame them for instead focusing on the issue of fan behavior (the subject of the editorial). It's just the real issue was never about fan behavior or criticism, it was about the editorial pointing it out.

    Try again somebody.

  • It is glad to hear that ISA concern on stadium safety that is essential to avoid accident.

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