Big happenings are products of circumstance. As he walked through Gate C at Toyota Park around 1:30pm Saturday, Jake Selke’s circumstance was the need to use a restroom but would relief would have to wait as he received a tap on the shoulder.
“I immediately thought this guy was trying to sell me something,” said Selke. “I was desperate to get to a bathroom but he said, ‘Congratulations, you’re our three millionth fan.’”
With the club’s regular season attendance sitting at 2,998,545 entering Saturday afternoon, an edict was put out encouraging fans to get into Toyota Park early for the chance to become the Chicago Fire’s three millionth fan – Selke’s bathroom necessity put him in the right place at the right time.
Jake was joined by his wife Allie, who purchased the two tickets to Saturday’s game for his 32nd birthday last month – that investment ballooned for the couple. As fans number 3,000,000 and 3,000,001 Saturday afternoon they were greeted as fireworks went off at the Harlem End and confetti rained down on the couple from Peoria. The two received ticket upgrades, taking in the match field side, but the big win was the two Premier Season Tickets for the 2011 season.
“I bought these tickets for him a while ago just thinking we’d come and have a good time,” said Allie. “This was my first Fire game and I loved it, I couldn’t have asked for anything more except for maybe three points.”
Jake echoed his wife’s sentiments about the match.
“It was an awesome game. We saw my favorite Fire player Sean Johnson make a great save on a penalty. A great goal from Collins John and then we were brought down to earth a little bit -- it was a shame to have that goal go in at the end, but still a great day.”
With his last Fire match came during the 2008 season, Jake plans to make the nearly three hour drive from Peoria for games much more frequently now.
“It’s been a struggle to come to games the last few years because we have two little kids – we don’t get this way very often. We didn’t get to any games last year, we were just happy to come for the game and get a weekend in Chicago – we had no idea the team was doing something like this. With this deal, we’ll be up here a lot next season.”