Don Garber

Don Garber To Speak At Kickoff Luncheon

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club, in conjunction with the Chicago Fire Foundation, announced today that MLS Commissioner Don Garber will speak at the 13th annual Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon presented by Ticketmaster. The kickoff luncheon will be held on Monday, March 14 at from 11 AM – 1 PM CT at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 E. Wacker Dr. Chicago IL 60601).

Commissioner Garber will join emcee Amy Freeze and Fire owner Andrew Hauptman in kicking off the Fire’s 2011 MLS season.

The 2011 Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon is nearly sold out. Limited tickets remain and are available for $75 a person and $700 for a table. Tickets are available by calling 708-496-6740 or by heading to

Don Garber has spent his entire career in the sports industry, working in a variety of capacities in marketing, television and League administration. On August 4, 1999, he was named Commissioner of Major League Soccer after spending 16 years with the National Football League.

Since Garber accepted Major League Soccer’s top position, his vision and leadership have enabled MLS to build a strong foundation for professional soccer in the United States. Garber has guided MLS through decisions that have solidified the League’s core business, guaranteed its long-term viability and positioned it for growth.

During his tenure, MLS has added 15 new investors, expanding and diversifying the League’s ownership group, including nine new expansion teams with the addition of Vancouver and Portland in 2011 and Montreal in 2012. Garber has also led the effort to develop soccer-specific stadiums for MLS teams. Nine stadiums have been built during his tenure, and two more have been renovated with soccer in mind. Also, more soccer-specific stadiums are currently in development.

Prior to becoming Commissioner of MLS, Garber spent 16 years with the National Football League, finishing his tenure as the senior vice president/managing director of NFL International, where he was responsible for managing all of the NFL’s business outside the United States. Garber began his career at NFL Properties in 1984 and became the League’s director of marketing in 1988. In 1992, he was appointed the NFL’s senior vice president of business development and was responsible for a variety of television, special event and marketing activities.

The annual event, which supports the Chicago Fire Foundation, offers Fire supporters the first opportunity to meet the 2011 Chicago Fire team and raise funds in the name of charity. In addition to interacting with Fire players, coaches and technical staff, the event includes a reception, formal lunch and silent auction, where attendees can bid on Fire and other sports memorabilia, gift certificates, player worn gear and much more. All proceeds benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation.