Today the Chicago Wildfire announced a new partnership with North Central College in Naperville, and will play 6 of their 7 home games on the campus at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
“We’re excited to work with North Central and the Naperville community this year. We met with lots of schools and lots of stadiums, but North Central’s location will enable us to better engage with youth programs and the suburban fan base we serve,” said CJ O’Brien, managing partner for the Wildfire.
The team’s previous home stadium, Lane Tech College Prep, gave notice last year that their turf would be redone in the summer of 2018, making the stadium unusable for two months once construction starts on July 1. The team began a 6-month search for a new stadium last August, evaluating things like public transportation, atmosphere, community, and proximity to fan base. “We actually have a huge following in the Naperville area,” said O’Brien. “There are a lot of high school teams in the western and northern suburbs, so we’re looking forward to bringing the games to their backyard, and creating more opportunities to engage with youth through clinics, coaching, and other community events. We want to show our support for kids aspiring to reach a higher level of play, and being in their neighborhood will help us integrate them more with the Wildfire than we’ve been able to in the past.”
Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and six graduate programs. With more than 2,900 students, North Central provides a rigorous, student-centered education and fosters a diverse, inclusive and globally engaged community that prepares students for action and leadership in a complex world. Just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop, the campus is located in the Historic District of Naperville, IL—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live” and by niche.com as 2nd on the list of “Best Places to Live in Illinois.” Visit northcentralcollege.edu and discover what it means to #Be central.
The only Wildfire home game not played at North Central will be held at Sportscore stadium in Rockford on June 9th, during the High School National Invite tournament. The Wildfire play their first home game at North Central against the Indianapolis AlleyCats on April 28th at 7:30pm.