Fire in Bridgeview: Catch the MLS Fire and the some “Fire” at Mi Tierras by Ultimate Sports Wife, Nicole

I don’t want to be a football snob- but I think by saying “football” instead of soccer, I might have already labeled myself as such (now that I think of it, that entire sentence sounds sporty-pretentious but whatever). Traveling Europe and Asia for soccer and attending two World Cups, I would say that I do have the right to be quite a football critic.

So clearly, taking a chance on the new Chicago Fire stadium was met with some obvious skepticism; America is not known for its soccer talent or its soccer fans. Americans, of course, reserve that for “real” football- in Chicago that mean Bears Football. But, before you can judge it, you must observe it, and this warranted a drive to the Bridgeview neighborhood of Chicago- known for its South-side Italians, its proximity to Midway (think Wayne’s World where they watched the planes take-off), and its humble, classic Chicago Bungalows. Now, through some windy city, political maneuvers, Bridgeview can now be known for their new soccer stadium. Given the rows of Bungalow houses mixed with an occasional pizza restaurant or local bar, a stadium in the midst is quite a sight.

The Chicago Fire’s new stadium is a moderately sized facility that is easy to navigate with great views even from the cheap seats. Don’t spend extra on upgrading your seats to the first level.

I was surprised to see quite a contingent of “hard core” Fire fans who were knowledgeable and into the game in an intense way (not intense by European standards...i.e. no fires or fights, but passionate nonetheless).

If you do make it to Bridgeview, which is far for many Chicagoans, be sure to save your appetite for a post-party/late-night dinner at the best Mexican restaurant in the city: Mi Tierra’s off the Kedzie exit on I55 South. If the soccer doesn’t appeal to you, the consolation prize is a dinner at this place. Or, if you are less adventurous or less into spicy food, try supporting some local pizza or restaurants in the area, many of which are the top Italian treasures in the city.

A trip to the Chicago Fire’s new stadium is worth a look-see but only if you couple it with a great dinner. Just think, you can support soccer in your area (in fact, your country) with only the promise of a great meal after the game.