Toyota Park to be renamed ‘SeatGeek Stadium’ for Chicago Fire’s 2019 season
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The home of the Chicago Fire will lose its original Toyota Park moniker and be renamed “SeatGeek Stadium” after the Fire’s 2018 season ends.
SeatGeek and the village of Bridgeview, which owns the stadium, announced the agreement in a joint statement Thursday but did not disclose its terms. Bloomberg reports the deal provides some much-needed funds to Bridgeview, which has doubled property taxes on residents as it deals with about $260 million of debt, including a large portion tied to the stadium.
“We’re excited about SeatGeek making a meaningful and long-term investment in the stadium and our community,” Village of Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek said in a statement.
Similar to the deal that changed the White Sox’s U.S. Cellular Field to Guaranteed Rate Field, the Toyota branding will be replaced with SeatGeek branding before the start of the 2019 season. Toyota owned the naming rights for the stadium since it opened in 2006, but chose not to renew its agreement after it expired in 2016.
The deal comes as the Fire have been rising in the ranks of Major League Soccer. They finished in the bottom of the league in 2015 and 2016, but have been aggressively rebuilding under new general manager Nelson Rodriguez. They finished third in the Eastern Conference in 2017 after adding new players to the roster, including German star Bastian Schweinsteiger, who re-signed with the team for the current 2018 season.
New York-based SeatGeek is an online ticket aggregator and host of a marketplace for users to buy tickets from third parties to sporting events, concerts, and other events. It also partners with Major League Soccer to help third parties sell tickets to games.
“Chicago is an incredible city for live events, and we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors to SeatGeek Stadium,” SeatGeek co-founder Russ D’Souza said in a joint statement.
The stadium is also home to the Chicago Red Stars and hosts concerts and other live programming in the summer.