Looking Into The Soldier Field Lease for Chicago Fire

Fire’s lease at Soldier Field calls for sliding payment based on attendance

MIAMI, Fla. (January 27, 2020) —

The Fire will play its 2020 home opener at Solder Field on March 21, facing the visiting Atlanta United FC. The Fire reportedly agreed to pay the Village of Bridgeview about $65 million to break their lease at SeatGeek Stadium, in a structured payment schedule.

Lease Particulars

The commercial facilities lease spells out that amount that the franchise will pay the Chicago Park District to play at Soldier Field depends on the team’s popularity. Specifically, the team’s lease with the Park District calls for sliding payment scales based on attendance.

Term of the Lease

The initial portion of the lease is three years, with a series of options–including two for three-year extensions, plus a pair of one-year extensions. In total, there is a potential for up to eight years beyond the initial three-year term.

Attendance-Driven Per Game Payment Scale

The amount the Fire must pay per game is defined as “operating expenses.” The minimum per game is $145,000 for games with 15,000 attendees or fewer. The fee rises based on attendance: $162,500 for up to 20,000; $176,500 for up to 25,000; $201,875 for up to 35,000 and $253,000 for any crowd larger than 35,000.

Per Game “Use Fee.”

For every game played by the Fire at Soldier Field, the club must tender to the Park District a per-game “use fee” of $10,000.

Rent Escalation Clause

The fees contained in the lease agreement will rise by 3 percent per year over the life of the lease.

Ticket Prices and Related Fees

The Fire retain the right to set their own ticket prices, but they will include fees to be tendered to the Park District.

Each ticket will carry a $4 charge denominated as a “facility fee.” For larger crowds, defined as crowds in excess of 25,000, a “capital improvement” fee will range from $1 per ticket for crowds larger than 25,000 to $3 for crowds larger than 35,000.

Performance Guaranty

The Fire were required to post an irrevocable letter of credit with a major financial institution in an amount that represents the operating expenses and use fees they paid for their final season in Bridgeview. That amount was $2.635 million. The use of an irrevocable letter of credit (widely used in international business transactions) will to allow the Chicago Park District to draw on the letter of credit in order to recoup its damages in the event that the Fire breach the lease agreement.

Retention of Parking Revenues

The lease agreement provides the team a substantial cut of revenue from parking fees. For parking, the lease sets the per-vehicle rate of $35 — it will be higher for premium ticket holders.

The parking fees can be adjusted each year at the Park District’s discretion. The Fire are to receive 60 percent of parking revenue for crowds of 10,000 or less. The team’s share will gradually fall to 50 percent for larger crowds (> 25,000).

Concessions F&B , Merchandise Sales Revenue To Accrue To Fire

The same percentage distribution applies to the Fire’s cut of food and beverage money and merchandise sold at the stadium.

Scheduling Priority and Conflicts

The Fire go from being the primary tenant in Bridgeview to being a secondary tenant in Chicago. The Chicago Bears of the NFL (American Football) are the primary tenant and have a five-day scheduling window, meaning that the Fire cannot play a game at Soldier Field that falls on a date that is less than five days from a Bears’ home game. The Fire can host games one day after Bears games. The Fire also do not have scheduling priority ahead of any event that had been agreed upon before Sept. 5, 2018.

The agreement states that from March 1 until the beginning of the NFL preseason, (generally in August), the Park District will attempt to keep two Friday-Sunday windows and five midweek dates open per month.

The NFL and MLS have different calendars, which means the Fire schedule could change after the Bears’ release their 2020 calendar, which comes out in April. Once it receives the Bears’ schedule in the spring, the Park District has five days to share it with the Fire. If there is a conflict, the Park District is compelled to help the Fire find a suitable replacement date. If a suitable date cannot be found, the Fire can reschedule at another venue.

As for potential postseason games for the Chicago Fire (which would be in October-November), the lease recognises the “inherent uncertainty” of scheduling those matches.

Playing Surface

At the beginning of the MLS season the Park District is responsible for making sure the grass field is in a suitable condition to host a match. The Park District will pay for a full resod of the field one time either before or during the Fire season, and any additional full or partial resod will be at the Fire’s expense. The Bears also can request resoddings.

Special Clause: Honouring Schweinsteiger?

A clause grants the Fire a chance to hold a “friendly farewell game” in connection with the retirement of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is mentioned by name. No date has been set, nor is an opponent for any potential event specified. If the match comes to pass, Schweinsteiger’s former club Bayern Munich would be an obvious candidate to serve as the opponent.

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

The Park District issued this statement: “The agreement between the Chicago Park District and Chicago Fire is financially sound and beneficial for both parties. The District utilized the expertise of its management, the Soldier Field management team and outside counsel to develop the terms.”

In July 2019, team president and general manager Nelson Rodriguez said that a while move to Soldier Field wouldn’t heal all issues for the Fire, its location presented some clear advantages for the club and its fans.

“I do think the location of the venue matters, and it’s been challenging to get [to SeatGeek Stadium] for many fans,” he said at the time, adding, “we do not believe that moving to the city is a salve for all our issues. We have to do a better job of connecting to people where they live.”

Barcelona wonderkid Todibo loaned to Schalke 04 for €1.5M Fee

Loaned to Schalke 04 from Barcelona for remainder of 2019-20 season.

BARCELONA (January 20, 2020) —

Barcelona announced on Wednesday Jan 15 they have agreed a deal to loan defender Jean-Clair Todibo to Schalke for the rest of the 2019-20 season for a fee of €1.5 million:

The 20-year-old arrived at the Camp Nou in January 2019 on a free transfer from Toulouse but has only managed five first-team appearances for the club.


Contract Particulars

Schalke 04 will pay the player’s wages and the loan agreement contains an option to buy for €25 million, plus €5 million in add-ons. If Schalke 04 were to buy the player than FC Barcelona will maintain an option to buy him back for €50 million euros, plus €10 million in variables. 

Schalke have confirmed Todibo will take the No. 21 shirt at the Bundesliga club.


Manager David Wagner explained why they had moved to bring in the youngster, per the club’s official website:

We said during the training camp in Spain that we would only be active in the market if something opened up that would help us. That’s definitely the case for Jean-Clair Todibo, who is one of the best young central defenders in Europe. Since Benjamin Stambouli’s recovery is taking a little longer than we had all hoped, it makes sense to bring in another central defender. He can also play in defensive midfield. We will all do our best to support him in the development of his clear potential. We’re looking forward to having him.”

Todibo at Barcelona

After being signed in January 2019, Todibo had to wait until April 2019 to make his debut for Barcelona, starting in a 0-0 draw at Huesca in La Liga. His only other appearance in 2018-19 was in a 2-0 defeat to Celta Vigo in May.

This season, 2019-20, the young Frenchman has managed three appearances for Barca. Despite the limited number of minutes on the pitch, Todibo received good marks for his performance against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League. He played all 90 minutes of Barça’s 2-1 win at the San Siro and was praised for his handling of Nerazzurri striker Lautaro Martinez:

The biggest reason why Todibo had such limited time is that the 20-year-old was behind Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti at central defender in the Blaugrana roster. He needs more playing time and against a higher level of competition, and thus is hoping he can secure more game time at Schalke.

Todibo missed Barcelona’s first three games of this season with a leg injury. Thereafter, Ernesto Valverde left him on the bench. He played four minutes in a 2-0 away win at Getafe and 73 minutes in the 4-0 win over Sevilla in matchday 8 on October 6, 2019. He then was not named to the squad for all of the remaining fall matches, save for the full game played against Inter Milan.

Todibo offered his thoughts after sealing a switch to the Bundesliga side, who are currently in fifth place in the table.

“The club’s management convinced me of their project, seeking success with young players,” he said. “That’s why I chose to join Schalke 04.”

Todibo’s departure could mean new Barca manager Quique Setien opts to promote Ronald Araujo to the first-team squad from Barcelona B. The Uruguayan made his Barcelona debut in October’s 4-0 win over Sevilla. He replaced Todibo after 73 minutes but was then sent off in the closing stages for bringing down Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

So far in Gelsenkirchen, Todibo has been named to the squad but remained on the bench for Schalke’s two games played so far in January: both wins, 2-0 at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach and a shocking 5-0 away win at Bayern München.

He played 75 minutes on Saturday, January 18, in the Bundesliga team’s 2-0 friendly win over third division team Preuben Münster.


Resumen in español

Acuerdo con el Schalke 04 para la cesión de Todibo

El FC Barcelona y el Schalke 04 han llegado a un acuerdo para la cesión del jugador Jean-Clair Todibo hasta el 30 de junio por un importe de 1,5 millones de euros.

El conjunto alemán se hace cargo de la ficha del jugador y tiene una opción de compra opcional de 25 millones de euros, más 5 millones de euros en variables. En caso de que el Schalke 04 hiciera efectiva la compra del jugador, el FC Barcelona mantendría una opción futura de compra por 50 millones de euros, más 10 millones de euros en variables.

Cabe recordar que Jean-Clair Todibo ha disputado un total de cinco partidos con la camiseta del Barça desde su llegada al Club en enero de 2019. El defensa francés debutó el 13 de abril en un Huesca-Barça de Liga. Repartidos por competiciones, Todibo ha disputado cuatro partidos en la Liga y uno en la Champions.

USL League One – New Teams For 2020

Division Three League Will Field 12 teams in 2020 Season 


MIAMI, Fla. (January 25, 2020) —

For its second season, the USL League One will field twelve teams.

Among the newcomers will be second teams for Inter Miami CF’s and the New England Revolution. Miami and New England join Union Omaha SC as expansion clubs.

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami

“We’re thrilled to have Inter Miami CF and the New England Revolution join League One,” said USL Senior Vice President Steven Short. “It’s exciting to watch our league as it continues to grow in both size and intensity. We’re already looking forward to our second year of competition and know that both of these clubs will be tremendous additions to our league.”   

Inter Miami is Major League Soccer’s 25th club, set to begin play in March of 2020. The club is led by managing owner Jorge Mas and co-owner and President of Soccer Operations David Beckham. The League One side will train and play in Fort Lauderdale at the new Inter Miami Stadium and Training Complex (Centro Deportivo). The first team as well as the Inter Miami CF Academy will also train and practice there.

Sporting Director Paul McDonough had this to say:

“League One is the final piece of our development structure. We are proud to close this deal and join a competitive league where our youth players can compete against quality opponents,” said Paul McDonough, the Sporting Director for Inter Miami CF. “This team will provide more opportunities for players from South Florida as well as elite international prospects.”

New England Revolution

Owned and operated by Robert and Jonathan Kraft, the New England Revolution are one of the founding members of Major League Soccer and have a rich history that spans more than two decades since the league’s launch in 1994. In addition to winning the U.S. Open Cup in 2007, the Revolution have participated in five MLS Cups, with its most recent appearance coming in 2014. New England has qualified for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs under the leadership of newly appointed Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena who will oversee the League One side in conjunction with Technical Director Curt Onalfo.

“The addition of Revolution II is a critical step that fully defines the pathway for our younger players to professional soccer with the New England Revolution,” said Revolution Technical Director Curt Onalfo. “USL League One is an excellent opportunity for our young talent to compete against quality opponents and we’re excited for how this new team will elevate our player development model.” 

Union Omaha

Union Omaha’s brand and colours were revealed last October by Alliance Omaha Soccer (USL Omaha).

“We are a club formed by people with a common purpose; it only seemed appropriate that our name should embody this vision. We are honored to officially be Union Omaha,” said Alliance Omaha Soccer CEO and Managing Partner Gary Green. “This is a crest our players and our fans will wear over their hearts, and they do so knowing that it is not just the crest, but our club, being built from the ground up. We want to thank the thousands of fans that were a part of us identifying a name and designing the crest. We will continue to listen to you as we grow this club and grow Omaha.”

The crest was designed by Matthew Wolff, owner of Matthew Wolff Design, in collaboration and input from the community.

“Union Omaha is the only American club represented by the great horned owl, and it will serve as a symbol for us to be fierce and competitive on the pitch,” said Matt Homonoff, the team’s Chief Operating Officer.  “Off the pitch, the stars will be our three pillars for all we do in the community. This club will always be about the incredible people that represent our region, creating a sense of place and sharing a common purpose to grow the beautiful game.”

Sponsorship Look Back: AS Roma's three-year sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways

DOHA-

In April 2018, Serie A club Associazione Sportiva Roma entered into a three-year sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways.

It was described by the football club as “the largest the club has ever signed” though the actual financials were not made public. However, the agreement with Qatar Airways was reportedly worth €40M ($48.8M) for three seasons, according to Elvira Pollina of REUTERS.

The deal saw Qatar Airways become only the seventh shirt sponsor in Roma’s 90-year history. The first team played without a main sponsor since 2014, when the Roma Cares charity occupied the main space on the front of the club’s gameday shirts.

The deal will last until the end of the 2020-21 season, both parties announced.

Airline sponsorships are among the most valuable in sports. Having an airline as a sponsor, especially in world football, is viewed as a sign that your club is among the elite. Roma claim their deal with Qatar Airways is the largest-ever sponsorship deal signed by the club and one of the biggest ever agreed by an Italian soccer side.

Some other notable examples of clubs that have airline sponsors include Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan Arsenal, SL Benfica, Hamburg SV (Emirates Airlines); Manchester City, New York City FC, Melbourne City (Etihad Airways).

This season Roma have played in shirts without  a sponsor. That will change for their Champions League semifinal against Liverpool
Roma played most of the 2018 season in shirts without a sponsor. (AFP Photo/MIGUEL MEDINA)

The deal became public a day before Roma’s biggest games for decades, the first leg of a Champions League semi-final against Liverpool at Anfield. The team’s shirts for that match (the secondary white shirt) were the first time the sponsorship was carried.

“We are delighted to announce this historic partnership between AS Roma and Qatar Airways, two great brands with global ambitions,” said Roma’s president Jim Pallotta.

“Today’s announcement is the result of discussions behind the scenes for more than eight months with Qatar Airways… and comes at a significant time in the club’s history, on and off the pitch.”

“With a new stadium due to begin construction late this year and the team in the Champions League semi-final for the first time for 34 years, it’s an exciting time to be a Roma fan. He added that the club would “be proud to wear the Qatar Airways name on our shirts.”

Qatar Airways’ boss, Akbar Al-Baker, said: “We are very pleased to announce this new partnership, which will see Qatar Airways become the official shirt sponsor of AS Roma through the 2020-21 season. “AS Roma is one of the most successful and well-known football clubs in the world.”

Commercial Ties Between the Countries

The deal was entered into at a time that there were increased commercial ties between Doha and Rome. For example, in October 2017, Qatar Airways purchased a 49 percent stake in private airline Meridiana, which has now been rebranded as Air Italy.

An Expanding Sports Portfolio

The sponsorship agreement with Roma was the latest in an increasing line of sporting sponsorships announced by the 100 percent state-owned Gulf airline.

The airline is also one of the shirt sleeve sponsors on Bayern Munich’s kit as well as the German giant’s official airline.

Qatar Airways also sponsors local club Al Sadd, whose captain is former Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, and will be a FIFA sponsor of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

It has also ventured into other sports, including a sponsorship deal with Aussie Rules Football club, Sydney Swans.

Qatar Airways was the shirt sponsor for Barcelona — the team Roma knocked out in the 2018 Champions League quarter-finals — for three years, in a commercial agreement which ended in 2017. That deal paid Barcelona $45 million per year. For some Barcelona supporters, it proved controversial because of Qatar’s human rights record, particularly with regards to migrant labourers helping prepare for the 2022 World Cup in Doha. Qatar Airways has also been criticised for its treatment of workers, notably by the International Labour Organisation for “discrimination” against female staff. When the sponsorship agreement ended, Barcelona’s entered into its current sponsorship with the Japanese electronic commerce and online retailing company Rakuten.

More About Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the national airline of the State of Qatar and one of the aviation industry’s big success stories. Operations began in 1994 when the airline was a small regional carrier serving a handful of routes. The airline was re-launched in 1997 under the mandate of His Highness The Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who outlined a vision to turn Qatar Airways into a leading international airline with the highest standards of service and excellence.

Qatar Airways has since become one of the fastest growing carriers in the history of aviation with unprecedented expansion averaging double digit growth year on year.
The airline has developed under the dynamic leadership of Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, appointed in 1997, who has been instrumental in turning Qatar Airways into an award-winning carrier and the best in the world.
Under Mr. Al Baker’s stewardship, Qatar Airways has matured into a leading force in regional and global aviation, earning many admirers around the world for its excellent standards of service.

The airline operates 206 aircraft to more than 160 destinations worldwide.

Qatar Airways A350-1000 | Photo: Qatar Airways

The Official Cheese of Real Betis Balompié: Quesería Dehesa Dos Hermanas

La expansión de la marca Betis es una realidad, en particular a nivel internacional, pero al mismo tiempo nunca se olvidan sus raíces. | Real Betis’ expansion of its brand is a reality, but the club doesn’t forget its roots.

Club has two-year partnership with regional cheesemaker.


Anyone who has spent time in Spain knows that cheese is serious business. For that matter, all cuisine is taken seriously.

Real Betis Balompié found a way to tap into that rich culinary mindset.

While continuing to expand its brand on an international level, Real Betis is mindful of not forgetting its roots. Prior to the launch of the 2019 season, the Sevilla club added another Andalusian partner, Quesería Dehesa Dos Hermanas. Under the terms of the sponsorship, the quesería will be the official cheese provider for Real Betis for the next two years, to 2021. The artisan cheese maker will have its cheeses served in the premium sections of the Estadio Benito Villamarín and at selected Real Betis events.

Quesería Dehesa Dos Hermanas en su apuesta comercial por ser el Queso de Andalucía ha considerado al Real Betis como un equipo que ejemplifica la filosofía de la quesería, “gustar a todo el mundo y ser un modelo referente para Andalucía”.

Quesería Dehesa Dos Hermanas will also be a sponsor for the other Real Betis sports teams, including the women’s football team, as well as the Real Betis basketball and fusal teams. The company’s cheese wil be available for purchase in the stands as well as boxes at the Estadio Benito Villamarin for members (socios) and season ticket holders.

“Somos un club orgulloso de ser andaluz y para nosotros es una satisfacción unirnos a otra firma andaluza con la que nos sentimos identificados porque ha logrado el reconocimiento en casa y fuera de ella gracias a la calidad de sus productos”.

Ramón Alcarcón, Head of Commercial, Real Betis

The head of commercial at Real Betis, Ramón Alarcón, believes that the partnership is a very valuable one. “The expansion of the Betis brand is a reality. At an international level it continues to grow, but that doesn’t mean we are forgetting our roots.” he said. “We’re proud of being an Andalusian club and for us it’s rewarding to partner with another Andalusian firm with whom we identify because they have become reknowned at home and beyond for the quality of their products.”

“It is a strong commercial bet for our brand, we believe that football and Real Betis are two strong lines that will positively impact us in the market as an Andalusian brand and as the best sheep cheese manufactured in our own farm in Santa Barbara de Casa, Huelva,” said the CEO of Dehesa Dos Hermanas, Pepe Mateu.

Mateu stressed that the sponsorship exemplifies perfectly the philosophy of the cheesemaker, which has won various awards in Andalucía. “We want to be the cheese of all Andalucians, and thanks to Real Betis, with this commercial support, we will reach all the Betis fans and homes of Andalucía.” He added, “It’s a cheese to share with family, enjoy with friends and even better if it’s with a Real Betis victory!”

“Queremos ser el queso de los andaluces y andaluzas y, gracias al Real Betis Balompié, con esta fuerte apuesta comercial llegaremos a todos los aficionados béticos y a los hogares de Andalucía, porque es un queso para compartir en familia, disfrutar con amigos? y mejor todavía si es con una victoria del Real Betis”.

Pepe Mateu, Owner, Quesería Dehesa Dos Hermanas

Mateu expained that one of the company’s objectives is to position themselves as one of the best cheesemakers in Andalucía, in Spain and the World. They already have won awards as the producer of the best sheeps’ cheese in the region. (Dehesa Dos Hermanas owns a farm with more than 15,000 sheep) He added that the colours of the company, which packages its cheeses in a green box, just so happens to align well with the green and white of Betis.


Oct. 21, 2019 – Los entrenadores de los primeros equipos del Real Betis Balompié, Coosur Real Betis, Real Betis Féminas, Real Betis Futsal (Rubí, Curro Segura, Antonio Contreras y Juan Antonio Miguel García (Juanito),..) ofrecieron el pasado jueves una charla coloquio sobre la gestión de grupos y líderes en la alta competición. El encuentro organizado por el Club de Negocios Betis Experience, tuvo lugar en la zona lounge de la Ciudad Deportiva Luís del Sol. Dehesa Dos Hermanas como proveedor Oficial del Real Betis pertenece junto a diferentes empresas, profesionales y responsables a este grupo que fomenta las actividades empresariales, reuniones, actividades lúdicas y jornadas de formación entre sus componentes.