Background: Toyota Park, located in Bridgeview, Illinois, is – for lack of a better word – gorgeous. Combining new American innovations with European classical style, the home field for the Chicago Fire has established itself as one of the finest fields in all of MLS despite its short history. I think it’s definitely deserving of the #2 spot on this list.
Construction: Designed by the same firm that later concocted the dimensions of Rio Tinto Stadium, Rossetti Architects, Toyota Park was opened in 2006 after a two year build which cost nearly $100 million. A definitive “soccer specific stadium”, Toyota Park was built with the fan in mind, meaning no seat gives you a very poor view.
Features: The easy question isn’t what features are in place at Toyota Park; rather, the simple question is what features it is missing (i.e. none). It has numerous luxury suites, covered seating, a brick facade and an entry archway made mostly of stone. Also, it has one of the most high-tech natural grass fields (not an oxymoron) in the world.
Fans: The Fire have some of the most devoted fans in the league, which is evidenced by their desire to stand and chant for the entire match in Sections 117 and 118 (though the supporters are referred to as Section 8). Since I slighted some Chi-town fans in my last few rankings, I hope they are pleased to be so far up on this list. But, I am sure they will wonder why their pitch wasn’t #1. Well, keep tuning in to find out whose stadium barely beat theirs for the title of finest MLS venue.