Morningstar Executive Chairman Joe Mansueto has purchased a controlling interest in Chicago Fire from Andrew Hauptman, continuing the effort to move the MLS team from Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium to Soldier Field.
The purchase was announced today by the Fire. Mansueto had previously held 49 percent of the Fire ownership before this transaction.
Hauptman has been owner and chairman of the Fire for 12 years, culminating in recent negotiations with the Village of Bridgeview allowing the Fire to move back into the city of Chicago, and receiving approval from the Chicago Park District board negotiate a deal enabling the Fire to play its 2020 season at Soldier Field.
“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,” Hauptman said in a press release. “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,” Mansueto said via press release. “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.”
During Hauptman’s tenure, the Fire built the CIBC Fire Pitch, a north-side community center serving 300,000 visitors annually, and introduced Chicago Fire Rec Soccer programming for adults, which now has 20,000 participants. Additionally, the Fire 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 Fire has repeatedly been recognized for its community work, having most recently won the 2019 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award.
Mansueto 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.
Image courtesy concacaf.com