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MLS Sep 13, 2019

Chicago Fire announce ownership change and relocation

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (September 13, 2019) – Longtime Chicago Fire Soccer Club Chairman and Owner, Andrew Hauptman, today announced the sale of his controlling interest in the Club to Joe Mansueto.

Effective immediately, Mansueto will take on the role of Chairman as sole owner of the Fire. Under Hauptman’s leadership, the Club also concluded an agreement with the Village of Bridgeview that allows the Fire to move back into the city of Chicago, and received approval from the Chicago Park District board to move toward an agreement that will enable the team to play its 2020 season at Soldier Field.

Hauptman’s term as owner ends after 12 years of impressive growth, expanded reach and development for the Club across Chicagoland. Throughout his ownership tenure, Hauptman led a strategy of expansive soccer programming and deep community engagement in addition to investment in infrastructure, management talent and world-class players.

“What the Fire has achieved has been transformational for the Club and the city of Chicago. We’ve significantly increased soccer’s presence and built an ecosystem that rivals any club across North America,” said Hauptman. “I’m extremely proud of the positioning of the Club at this historic juncture. I know that the next step of returning to Soldier Field will make Chicago proud and I look forward to cheering on Joe, the Club and its supporters as they continue this legacy.”

“I joined Andrew as a partner because he developed a tremendous platform for continued soccer growth across Chicago and beyond. He and the entire organization have worked tirelessly to dramatically increase the profile of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, MLS and the game overall and have left a wonderful legacy for our city,” said Mansueto. “The timing of this transaction couldn’t be better as we return the world’s game to the city I love. Andrew and his family will always be part of the Fire family that he cares so very much about.”

In 2011, the Club drew a near-capacity crowd at Soldier Field when they hosted Manchester United, and in 2017, Hauptman was instrumental in bringing the sold-out MLS All-Star Game to Chicago against legendary Spanish club Real Madrid.

Since acquiring the Chicago Fire in 2007, Hauptman has made extensive investments in the first team, while also establishing deep roots across the Chicagoland community. Under his leadership, the Club built the CIBC Fire Pitch, a north side community center which serves 300,000 visitors annually and introduced Chicago Fire Rec Soccer programming for adults, which now has 20,000 participants. Additionally, the Club formed the Chicago Fire Academy, a full scholarship program for Chicago’s elite youth players and expanded the Chicago Fire Juniors program, with 11 Clubs across six states, and 16,000 players participating year-round. For its commitment and ambitious stewardship, the Club has repeatedly been recognized for its community work, having most recently won the 2019 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award.

In 2017, Hauptman was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame as Sports Advocate of the Year.

About Andrew Hauptman

Andrew Hauptman is the chairman of Andell Inc., a private investment firm and family office. Andell invests directly in both control and minority stakes in private and public companies, as well as real estate. Hauptman oversees the firm’s strategy and is actively involved in Andell’s varied operating businesses. He serves as a national trustee of City Year and is co-founder and Chair of City Year Los Angeles. Hauptman is a director of The Bronfman Hauptman Foundation, and co-founder and trustee of The Charles Bronfman Prize. He also sits on numerous boards, including the advisory board of Altas Partners, the trustee advisory board of the Center for American Progress, and the leadership councils of International Medical Corps and Service Year Alliance. He is a co-chair of Service Year Alliance’s “Serve America Together” campaign, calling on 2020 presidential candidates to make national service a priority.

About Joe Mansueto

Joe Mansueto is the Executive Chairman of Morningstar, a leading investment research firm based in Chicago. He founded Morningstar in 1984 and stepped down as CEO at the end of 2016. Morningstar today employs over 5,000 people and operates in 27 countries around the world.

Mansueto also owns Inc and Fast Company magazines and is on the board of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.