A month ago the Chicago Fire Soccer Club came out with a groundbreaking 2011 Season Ticket prices and benefits plan which featured impressive incentives to purchase for next season. The offer of free and reduced parking and a 12-month payment plan pushed many to renew or purchase season tickets for the first time.
To further encourage fans to go “All-In” for 2011, the Fire announced that those who renewed or purchased season tickets by last Wednesday at 5pm would be entered to win lunch for two with Technical Director Frank Klopas.
The winner: long-time Fire fan and club seat holder, Greer Jones.
Contacted last week, the retired elementary school teacher was surprised she was chosen for the honor.
“I’ve never won anything like this before,” said the Portage, IN resident. “I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to talk about with Frank, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
One thing to certainly mention, Jones and her husband Bob started following soccer in Chicago during the days of the Chicago Sting, where Klopas made his professional debut.
“I remember Frank’s time with the Chicago Sting very well. My husband and I used to attend a lot of games because my son was involved with them back then.”
Though Jones has never won a contest like this, she does have experience at eating meals with someone from the Fire organization. Her favorite memory during 13 seasons of Fire fandom isn’t a particular game or moment, but a dinner her son had arranged with former Fire midfielder Evan Whitfield back in 2001.
The five-year Fire player had been during his early playing days in Arizona by Jones’ son Michael.
“We went down to watch the Fire play Columbus that August and had dinner with Evan after the game. Michael flew in from Arizona for the game and set the whole thing up – we drove down just to watch and we had no idea it was going to happen. It was nice to get to know some of the going’s on of team from the inside.”
Having followed the Fire to every stadium they’ve played over the past 13 seasons was recently impressed with the club’s new pricing and benefits plan, seeing it as an advantageous way of gaining more season ticket holders for 2011.
“I think the new outreach for season tickets is great. The idea of allowing people to pay for season tickets for a longer period of time is a fantastic idea given the way the economy is right now. People
that might have given up their season tickets because of other circumstances can work it out better to stay on as season ticket holders – that only benefits the club.”
Despite the uphill battle the Fire will have through the final four regular season games, Jones also counts herself still has some belief in the team’s cause this season.
“It’s been frustrating this year certainly but I keep cheering them on. I try to be a very positive person – I’ll always believe the Fire are great.”
Klopas and Jones will be joined by her husband Bob during in the near future for their lunch at The Pitch.
Lunch with a member of the Fire doesn’t end with Frank, the club is continuing the program, offering those who purchase or renew 2011 season tickets by the end of Friday’s anniversary game will be entered for a chance to win lunch for two with Fire rookie goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Read more about the Chicago Fire’s 2011 Season Ticket pricing and benefits plan and purchase your 2011 Season Tickets today by calling (888) MLS-FIRE!
Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter @JefeCrandall.