The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters’ Association for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, jointly announced today that they have reached a groundbreaking agreement to institute the first-ever Chicago Fire Soccer Club Supporters’ Charter. The document serves to cement an ongoing, iterative dialogue between the Chicago Fire and its fans, and marks the first such organized effort in U.S. professional sports. Both parties signed the Charter just before the Club’s first home match on April 10, 2010.
The Charter, a year-long collaborative initiative spearheaded by Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman, was created and instituted to ensure the Fire’s core values—tradition, honor and passion—are respected and successfully carried out by all those associated with the Club, including its supporters, Fire staff, players and stadium personnel. It further establishes a covenant of respect and understanding between the Chicago Fire and its supporters, and a mutual commitment to open and honest communications. The Charter outlines the rights and expectations of all parties, as well as summarizes the club’s continued commitment and involvement within the broader Chicago community. The Charter is an independent agreement between the Club and its supporters, but it also serves to augment the MLS Pledge to Fans, MLS Fan Code of Conduct and the TOYOTA PARK Code of Conduct.
“I truly appreciate the tireless efforts of everyone at the Fire and Section 8 Chicago who helped make this unprecedented initiative happen,” said Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman. “I’m consistently humbled and inspired by our supporters' passion and dedication to the Fire. They are the Club's heart and soul and, in my view, the Charter was created to recognize and cultivate this spirit. Our fans constantly remind the entire Fire organization of what's possible and what we are capable of accomplishing together as a community. The Charter symbolizes the openness, inclusiveness and loyalty that exist in a club like the Fire, which is unique in so many ways. From our players to our front office, to our youth academy to each any every one of our supporters, the Fire is proud and passionate, unapologetic and authentic, and I'm very proud to have had a small role in the Charter’s development and institution, and its future.”
“On behalf of Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters’ Association for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, I am delighted to have signed the first Supporters’ Charter in Major League Soccer,” said Section 8 Chicago Chairman Tom Dunmore. “We believe strongly in the values of the Club outlined in the Charter, and we are proud to have worked closely with the Club to create this public statement of our shared mission to, as one of our supporters once put it and as is stated in the Charter, ‘make Chicago known for all time.’ We would like to thank the Club for collaborating with us in a spirit of honest and open dialogue to complete the Charter, and we look forward to seeing this document in the hands of every Fire supporter, player and staff member as we continue our work to help make the Chicago Fire Soccer Club the standard-bearer of Major League Soccer. The completion of the Charter is an important step towards that goal.”
You can also see photos from the Charter signing here.