CHICAGO (Jan. 31, 2017) — On the brink of its milestone 20th Season in Major League Soccer, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced in partnership with MLS today that Chicago’s Soldier Field will be the site of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, set for Wednesday, Aug. 2. The league’s 22nd annual mid-summer celebration will feature several days of festivities in downtown Chicago, culminating in a match that showcases top MLS performers against an international superclub.
The announcement came Tuesday in a news conference at Soldier Field featuring MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Chicago Fire Soccer Club Owner and Chairman Andrew Hauptman, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“The Chicago Fire is honored to join Major League Soccer and the City of Chicago in hosting the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Target," Chicago Fire owner and chairman Andrew Hauptman said. "The game is a great opportunity to bring international attention to our city, league and soccer club and we are excited for the spotlight to be on historic Soldier Field this August for an amazing match between MLS’s best players and a prestigious international club. As the Chicago Fire marks its 20th anniversary season, we are pleased to count this marquee event as part of our season-long celebration of soccer in the Windy City and I am personally grateful to our host committee for joining us in welcoming the All-Star Game to Chicago.”
“Chicago is one of the great sports cities in America, and Soldier Field is one of the most historic venues in this country and around the world,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “The MLS All-Star Game is an opportunity to take the best of our league and put them up against one of the best clubs while broadcasting it around the globe.”
“I want to thank the Chicago Fire for being invested in all parts of the City of Chicago,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Over the last four or five years, we’ve added about 40 to 50 soccer fields across the City of Chicago. The Chicago Fire has been a great partner in providing resources and helping with the activities.”
Chicago Fire Season Ticket Holders will have access to an exclusive All-Star Game pre-sale opportunity. Time and details will be announced in the near future. For more information, please call 888-MLS-FIRE.
As the host club for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, the Chicago Fire stands at the center of burgeoning soccer market boasting 3.4 million soccer fans and nearly a million participants. The club is directly affiliated with more than 150 regional soccer organizations, interacts with more than 70,000 individuals annually through community soccer outreach programs, and manages a youth club with more than 16,000 players and the city’s largest adult recreational league, with more than 14,000 participants.
As head coach of the MLS All-Star Game’s host club, the Chicago Fire’s Veljko Paunovic will have the distinction of serving as head coach of the MLS All-Stars.
The 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target marks the second time Chicago has hosted the event. The previous occurrence came at Toyota Park in the stadium’s inaugural year of 2006, when the MLS All-Stars defeated English side Chelsea FC, 1-0.
Soldier Field, with a capacity of 61,500, has played host to some of the most exciting sporting and entertainment events in the world including CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, World Cup Qualifiers, 1994 FIFA World Cup matches, and last summer’s Copa America Centenario. Not only has Soldier Field hosted a wealth of international soccer events, the venerable Chicago landmark also has a rich MLS legacy, as it was home to the Chicago Fire for the club's first four seasons, from 1998-2001, then again from 2003-2005. The Fire owned a 62-23-10 record (.705 winning percentage) in their home games played at Soldier Field, a span which also includes the club's three appearances in MLS Cup.
The 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target will be broadcast live on FS1 and the Univision, TSN, and RDS family of networks, as well as to more than 100 countries worldwide via MLS’ international broadcast partners.
A host committee of senior leaders across Chicago is currently in formation. The committee members will serve as ambassadors for the city and for the sport of soccer leading up to the All-Star Game.
Chicago All-Star Game Host Committee **in formation**
Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Andrew Hauptman, chairs
Michael Alter President, The Alter Group
Kara Bachman Executive Director, Chicago Sports Commission
Philip J. Bedella Vice President-General Manager, CSN Chicago
Hebru Brantley Artist
Kam Buckner Executive Director, World Sport Chicago
Steve Crown Partner, Henry Crown & Company
Patrick Donelly General Manager, Hyatt Regency Chicago
Aaron Erter Senior Vice President, Valspar
Dan Flynn CEO & Secretary General, U.S. Soccer
Matthew Gibson Partner, Goldman Sachs
Jim Gordon Founder & Managing Partner, The Edgewater Funds
Lori Healey CEO, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
Mellody Hobson President, Ariel Investments
Mark Kelly Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
Michael P. Kelly General Superintendent & CEO, Chicago Park District
Frank Klopas Former Chicago Fire Player & Coach and U.S. International
Steve Koch Deputy Mayor of Chicago
Tim LeFevour General Manager, Soldier Field
J Jeffry Louis Chairman, Gannett Company, Inc.
Brian McBride Former Chicago Fire Soccer Club player & member US Soccer Hall of Fame
Theresa E. Mintle President & CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Martin Nesbitt Co-Founder & Co-CEO, The Vistria Group
Hank Paulson Chairman, Paulson Institute
Gigi Pritzker Chair & CEO, Madison Wells Media; President, Pritzker Foundation
Penny Pritzker Founder & Chairman, PSP Capital Partners, LLC
Michael Pucker Chairman & CEO, DNS Capital; Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
Steve Quazzo CEO, Pearlmark Real Estate Partners
Jerry Reinsdorf Chairman, Chicago White Sox & Chicago Bulls
Michael Reinsdorf President & COO, Chicago Bulls
Nancy Reinsdorf President, Chicago Bulls Charities
Larry Richman President & CEO, The PrivateBank
Tom Ricketts Chairman, Incapital LLC
Robbie Robinson Managing Director, BDT Capital Partners, LLC
Desiree Rogers CEO, Johnson Publishing
Jesse Ruiz Partner, Drinker Biddle
Michael J. Sacks Chairman & CEO, GCM Grosvenor
Sharene Shariatzadeh Executive Director, Chicago Cultural Mile
David Simas CEO, Obama Foundation
Sarah Spain Radio Host & Columnist, ESPN
Dr. Bryan Traubert Chairman, The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
Ben Weprin Principal, AJ Capital Partners
Larry Wert President, Broadcast Media, Tribune Media
Rocky Wirtz Chairman, Chicago Blackhawk Hockey Team, Inc.
ALL-TIME MLS ALL-STAR GAMES
1996: East 3, West 2 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1997: East 5, West 4 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1998: MLS USA 6, MLS World 1 (Orlando, Fla.)
1999: West 6, East 4 (San Diego, Calif.)
2000: East 9, West 4 (Columbus, Ohio)
2001: East 6, West 6 (San Jose, Calif.)
2002: MLS 3, U.S. National Team 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2003: MLS 3, CD Guadalajara 1 (Carson, Calif.)
2004: East 3, West 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2005: MLS 4, Fulham FC 1 (Columbus, Ohio)
2006: MLS 1, Chelsea FC 0 (Bridgeview, Ill.)
2007: MLS 2, Celtic FC 0 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2008: MLS 3, West Ham United FC 2 (Toronto, Ont., Canada)
2009: MLS 1, Everton FC 1 (Everton 4-3 pen) (Sandy, Utah)
2010: Manchester United FC 5, MLS 2 (Houston, Texas)
2011: Manchester United FC 4, MLS 0 (Harrison, N.J.)
2012: MLS 3, Chelsea FC 2 (Chester, Pa.)
2013: A.S. Roma 3, MLS 1 (Kansas City, Kan.)
2014: MLS 2, FC Bayern Munich 1 (Portland, Ore.)
2015: MLS 2 Tottenham Hotspur FC 1 (Denver, Colo.)
2016: Arsenal FC 2, MLS 1 (San Jose, Calif.)
2017: MLS vs. TBD