Billionaire Mansueto assumes full ownership of Fire
Field Level Mediaon
Joe Mansueto has secured 100 percent ownership of the Chicago Fire after buying out Andrew Hauptman's controlling interest, the MLS team announced on Friday.
Mansueto, who purchased a 49 percent stake in the Fire in 2018, will take on the role of chairman as sole owner of the Fire effective immediately.
"I joined Andrew as a partner because he developed a tremendous platform for continued soccer growth across Chicago and beyond," said Mansueto, who is the founder of investment management firm Morningstar.
"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."
The completed deal comes as the Fire plan to return to playing homes games at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Fire spent the past 13 years playing in Bridgeview, Ill., a suburb 15 miles from the city, and completed a $65.5 million deal to break a lease at SeatGeek Stadium that was set to run through 2036.
The Fire played at Soldier Field in Chicago from 1998 until 2001, and also from 2003 through part of the 2006 season.
"The timing of this transaction couldn't be better as we return the world's game to the city I love," Mansueto said. "Andrew and his family will always be part of the Fire family that he cares so very much about."
Hauptman offered the following statement following the transaction:
"What the Fire has achieved has been transformational for the club and the city of Chicago," Hauptman said. "We've significantly increased soccer's presence and built an ecosystem that rivals any club across North America.
"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."