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Billionaire Joe Mansueto takes full ownership of Chicago Fire

Tim Bannon, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Fire have a new boss.

Joe Mansueto, the billionaire chairman and founder of investment research firm Morningstar, has taken full ownership of the Major League Soccer team.

Andrew Hauptman, who bought the team in 2007 for a reported $35 million and became its chairman, sold his 51% stake to Mansueto, who also takes over as chairman.

The Fire announced the news Friday.

In July 2018, Mansueto acquired a 49% stake in the team. Hauptman kept the controlling stake.

"I joined Andrew as a partner because he developed a tremendous platform for continued soccer growth across Chicago and beyond," Mansueto, 63, said in a statement. "He and the entire organization have worked tirelessly to dramatically increase the profile of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club.

 

"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."

The Fire, who reached a deal with Bridgeview in July to leave SeatGeek Stadium, have moved a step closer to playing at Soldier Field as soon as next year.

The Chicago Park District voted at its monthly board meeting Wednesday to continue negotiations and enter into a permit and operating agreement for the Fire to use the 61,500-seat stadium starting in the 2020 MLS season.

"What the Fire has achieved has been transformational for the club and the city of Chicago," Hauptman, the chairman of private investment firm Andell Inc., said in a statement. "We've significantly increased soccer's presence and built an ecosystem that rivals any club across North America.

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