The Chicago Fire hosted a meet and greet event for season ticket holders at the PrivateBank Fire Pitch on Monday night.
The event gave Fire fans a chance to talk to players from the team, all of which were in attendance, and get autographs.
"We love the fact that we can get our season ticket holders the benefit of meeting our entire team as the season is just started," Fire COO Atul Khosla said. "It’s just a fantastic opportunity for them to meet all the players, all the coaches, take pictures, but we love the fact they get that one-on-one interaction with the players. That’s a bond they form and when I talk to season ticket holders this is one of their favorite events.”
The annual event had previously been held outside at Toyota Park, which meant it had to be held later in the year. With the Fire Pitch now open, this meant it could be held indoors and earlier in the season, avoiding nasty early spring weather in Chicago.
Players sat down at booths and had fans line up for autographs and photos. Coach Veljko Paunovic stood behind draped in a Fire scarf, chatted with fans and gave high-fives to kids. David Accam kicked a ball around with a couple little kids, who were probably too young to know who he was, but had fun all the same. Foosball and FIFA games were also a part of the night.
“The fans braved the weather on Saturday to watch the players so this is kind of nice to be in the dome, a little bit away from the weather," Khosla said. "Especially with a lot of the new guys who they haven’t met yet and haven’t seen them around. For players as well just talking to them they are excited to do this because this is what it takes to build a fan base for the long-term and give back to the fans that give us so much all year round.”