Chicago Fire announces ownership change ahead of Soldier Field move

Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire has announced that long-time chairman and owner Andrew Hauptman has sold his controlling interest in the club to Joe Mansueto.

Mansueto, the executive chairman of investment research firm Morningstar, will take on the role of chairman as sole owner of the Fire effectively immediately. He purchased a 49 percent stake in the team in July 2018.

“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,” said Hauptman, a private equity investor and film producer who purchased the Fire in 2007.

The Fire also announced that it has 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.

The Fire is expected to sign a three-year lease to play at the home of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears, with extension options for eight more years.

Further changes are afoot. The club has designs on a permanent downtown soccer-specific stadium while there have been reports that a name change could happen, too.