Verizon Wireless Signs On To Be A Founding Partner Of Toyota Park In Illinois

SCHAUMBURG, IL — Verizon Wireless today announced that it has entered into a long-term agreement to be a founding partner and the official wireless provider of TOYOTA PARK in Bridgeview, Ill., the new home of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire as well as an ongoing line-up of sporting, live-entertainment, community and special events.

TOYOTA PARK, which opened in June of this year, is owned by the Village of Bridgeview and operated by a division of AEG.

"To have a strong and highly recognizable company like Verizon Wireless step forward to team up with us is significant in that it further validates what a world-class venue TOYOTA PARK is," said Jay Cooper, vice president of Midwest Operations, AEG Facilities.

The sponsorship covers a three-year period, through 2009. Financial provisions of the sponsorship were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will have a wealth of unique brand integration elements, including naming rights to the venue's press box, now called the "Verizon Wireless Media Center." In addition, Verizon Wireless will have high-profile signage throughout TOYOTA PARK as well as a host of other promotional and hospitality opportunities.

"Verizon Wireless is a national company known for its strong ties to local communities. TOYOTA PARK's and the Village of Bridgeview's partnership with such a forward thinking company will only benefit the Chicago Southland region," said Steven M. Landek, mayor of the Village of Bridgeview.

"We are delighted to be affiliated with this great new facility and to further demonstrate our commitment to the Chicago community," said T.J. Fox, president-Illinois/Wisconsin Region, Verizon Wireless. "We look forward to helping promote all the great events scheduled at TOYOTA PARK. This includes, in the near feature, offering Verizon Wireless customers the ability to download on their wireless handsets streaming video clips of live events taking place at TOYOTA PARK."

Local Kids Can 'Kick It' With 'El Pulpo' and Chicago Fire Players

As part of its new agreement with TOYOTA PARK, Verizon Wireless will host a free soccer clinic for 500 local youth, ages 5-17, at the park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 8.

Former Mexican goaltender, Martin Zúñiga, known as "El Pulpo," and several players from the Chicago Fire will provide demonstrations and a "chalk talk" on the fundamentals of soccer. Kids will participate in various "skills stations," including stations for passing, dribbling and shooting. An autograph and photo session is also planned. All participants will receive a free sports jersey and a water bottle.

One lucky youth will be randomly selected to be the winner of the Verizon Wireless "Fired Up" package. The winner will receive the following:

  • One 60 minute one-on-one training session/tutorial with Chicago Fire defender Ivan Guerrero.

  • The opportunity to assist the Chicago Fire staff during on-field pre-game warm-up activities at one game during the 2007 season.

  • Four tickets to watch a game from VIP sideline seats at one game during the 2007 season.

  • A private, post-game autograph session with Guerrero and 20 of the winner's family members and/or friends. Personalized autographed jersey from Guerrero.

Boys and girls ages 5-17 can still register for the event at the Verizon Wireless store in Circuit City, 7001 Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, Ill., on Sunday, October 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. Space in the clinic is limited to the first 500 players who register.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at

About TOYOTA PARKTOYOTA PARK, owned by the Village of Bridgeview and operated by a division of AEG, is a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue located approximately 15 minutes southwest of Chicago. As permanent home to the MLS team Chicago Fire Soccer and operated by AEG, the stadium also features a regular line-up of sporting, live entertainment, and special events. The capacitiy of the stadium is 20,000 for soccer and other field events and 28,000 for concerts. For more info,