Over the past months, the Independent Supporters Council has been keeping an eye on an escalating situation in Chicago with the Chicago Fire front office. This has included fact finding and understanding both sides to a situation that now appears that there is bias involved in decision making due to lack of communication between the fans and the front office. The way the Chicago Fire front office has decided to handle these situations has become alarming and is setting a bad precedent for going forward.
The Independent Supporters Council has backed Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters Association (ISA) in all of their decision making in handling the situation internally. Throughout the efforts made, the Chicago Fire front office has not been transparent in their directives and expectations in how to handle the matter. After the ban of Sector Latino and the clearing out of section 101 in Toyota Park, including refunding innocent season ticket holders, the Chicago Fire front office continued to make reactive and hasty decisions without clear structure. Sector Latino members who were not banned from the stadium have been welcomed by Section 8 Chicago in the Harlem End for games in which they choose to attend. At the past game, on Saturday, July 21, ticketed fans left the Harlem End and went into sections 101 and 102. Without notice of the complete closing of the section, the occupancy of these ticket holders has now envoked a one game ban on the ISA for their upcoming match against Red Bull New York.
Standing with Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters Council would like to emphasize the following that we have found issue with. The Chicago Fire front office is now refusing to meet with the ISA over the incidents so that a solution cannot be found. This refusal of open communication does not allow for clearly outlined expectations of ticketed fans within Toyota Park. Fans should not have punishment set upon them when the expectations are not clearly lined out. The refusal of communication between parties is not only damaging to the relationship between fans and their front office, but also between fans and their team.
Because of these conditions, the Independent Supporters Council is calling for the following:
Chicago Fire to meet with the appropriate parties to express the clear expectations for ticket holders who would like to express their support of their team. Section 8 Chicago and the Independent Supporters Council are willing to come to the table to find a solution that works for all fans inside of Toyota Park.
Supporters in all leagues to create tifo, banners, signs, etc. expressing that supporter groups are the ethos of the club, and that communication is vital to keep support vibrant and alive using #ClarityForChicago
We will stand in solidarity with Section 8 Chicago as they continue their refusal of organized support at Chicago Fire games. Fans do not exist for the purpose of marketing, but to boost the teams that they choose to give their hearts and voices to. This support should be encouraged and not hindered by the refusal of open communication and clear expectations.
Independent Supporters Council