Chicago Fire Announce Home Opener: Will Open 2 New Stadiums on Road

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The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that the Fire will host Opening Day at TOYOTA PARK against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 26 at 3:00 PM CT. For the first time in club history, the Fire will host a home match in Chicago in the month of March when they welcome the Kansas City club to TOYOTA PARK.

The Men in Red will begin their 14th MLS season during “First Kick” week when they travel to Dallas to challenge Brimstone Cup rivals and MLS Cup runners up FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 PM CT. The two clubs will clash for a MLS record fifth time on “First Kick” weekend, the most in MLS history. The Fire captured the last opening day battle, a 3-1 victory March 21, 2009, but hold a 1-3-0 record against the Dallas side in season openers

The Fire will have the honor of celebrating the opening of two new soccer-specific stadiums in 2011. First, opening the fully-renovated PGE Park on Thursday, April 14 at 10 PM CT when the Fire clash with the expansion Portland Timbers. Once the finishing touches have been made to KC Soccer Stadium, a new venue in Kansas City, the Fire will inaugurate the new ground by playing the first MLS match there against Sporting Kansas City on Thursday, June 9. This marks the second consecutive season that the Fire will welcome MLS play to a soccer-specific venue, the Fire took on Red Bull New York in the MLS Opening of Red Bull Arena in 2010.

The Fire have played all but one of its season openers on the road (against New England at TOYOTA PARK in 2007, serving as the exception) through its first 13 seasons in MLS. The Fire have posted a 5-4-4 mark on “First Kick” Weekend on the road and are 6-4-4 overall in season openers

The schedule for the Fire’s “home openers” is located below. The entire 2011 MLS regular season schedule will be released by early February. Although MLS will schedule games on FIFA friendly dates, no games will be scheduled on FIFA World Cup Qualifying dates.

Saturday, March 19

Chicago Fire at FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 26

Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City, 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 14

Chicago Fire at Portland Timbers, 10 p.m.

Thursday, June 9

Chicago Fire at Sporting Kansas City, time TBD

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