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The Chicago Red Stars are exploring venue options around their Sept. 21 match against San Diego Wave FC, and the club may pursue legal action after a music festival saw their game booted from their home stadium, sources familiar the situation confirmed to CBS Sports. The recent announcement that Riot Fest, a music festival, will be held at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill. -- primarily in the surrounding parking lots -- has presented some logistical issues for the NWSL franchise as they look for a solution. 

The 2024 NWSL regular season is currently underway and approaching its halfway point of the season. Fans can watch select NWSL matches across CBS Sports platforms, including CBS, CBS Sports NetworkParamount+, and CBS Sports Golazo Network

Here's what to know about Riot Fest, the potential fixture shuffle for the Red Stars, and Bridgeview's role:

Why is the Red Stars game in flux?

The Red Stars are coming off a historic single-game event at Wrigley Field where they set a league-record attendance of 35,038.

The standalone record is a rarity for the Red Stars, who have previously struggled with drawing fans out to Bridgeview during their nearly decade-long relationship with SeatGeek. The franchise moved all their home games out to the Chicago suburb in 2016, and during the 2023 regular season, where the club navigated an ownership sale, drew an average of roughly 5,000 at home games.

The scheduling conflict arose after the Riot Fest announcement as the club has a previously scheduled game set for Sept. 21. 

"It is unfair and unfortunate to have our club put in this situation, shining a light on the vast discrepancies in the treatment of women's professional sports versus men's professional sports," club president Karen Leetzow said in an official statement. 

"We are committed to ensuring our players and fans have a first-rate experience on and off the pitch, and we are working diligently to find a solution that will ensure our September 21st game is a success."

What is Riot Fest

Riot Fest is a three-day punk rock music festival. The annual event has been a part of Chicago's music fest scene since 2005. It got its start as a multi-venue event and later expanded into Chicago's Park Districts with previous event years held in Union Park, Humboldt Park, and recently Douglass Park. Their production hasn't been without some controversy -- the fest has faced criticism before from park neighborhoods, with residents vocal about damages to park grounds, displacement of youth programs, and access to local hospitals.

Last year's festival drew 50,000 per day to Douglass Park, and this year fest organizers officially broke away from the Chicago park district. Ahead of the initial Riot Fest lineup announcement, fest founder Michael "Riot Mike" Petryshyn issued a statement, noting the decision to relocate the event.

"Riot Fest will be leaving Douglass Park," he said. "And, allow me to be as clear as the azure sky as the deepest summer, our exit is solely because of the Chicago park district. The lack of care for the community, you, and us, ultimately left us no choice."

The decision for Riot Fest to move didn't happen overnight, and Petryshyn further explained in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times that it was a month-long process

Riot Fest doesn't have official partnerships with Red Stars. The club lease is with the venue and Village of Bridgeview. When CBS Sports reached out to Riot Fest for comment, they issued the following:

"Yesterday, we were shocked to see the statement from the Red Stars regarding their dispute with the stadium as we were told that accommodations were made and agreed upon. We are optimistic a resolution is forthcoming," they said. 

Overbooking in Bridgeview

The Villiage of Bridgeview is a Chicago Suburb that is home to SeatGeek Stadium. The facility initially broke ground as a soccer-specific stadium for Chicago Fire, but challenges getting out to the southwest suburb quickly grew over time. Eventually, new Fire ownership paid over $60 million to break their lease and depart the town to play their home game in the city at Soldier Field. 

The club has previously split home games, training days, and general operations with Chicago Fire, rugby teams, concerts, and even flag football among other sporting events at the venue. The SeatGeek landscape is no stranger to holding multiple events in the area. 

The Red Stars have been partial tenants since 2016 and renewed their agreement in 2019. It is set to run through the end of 2025, and in the agreement, the village "has the right to host concurrent events at the facility."

The franchise has often held match days that co-exist with local events. Carnivals, pumpkin patches, Palestine Fest, and Cinco De Mayo Fest are all events that have taken place during Red Stars games in extended areas of the parking lots. 

Ray Hanania, a spokesperson for Bridgeview, stated on Wednesday that the village is working with the club on a solution. 

"Obviously the Red Stars are very important to us and always have been and we want to do whatever we can to ensure that they're satisfied," he said.

On Thursday, he offered extended remarks, and confirmed the village's decision to welcome Riot Fest. He also explained that the Red Stars were given notice in April about "the possibility of the need to move their September 21 match due to Riot Fest," and revealed that as Riot Fest discussions were completed, "the Red Stars were provided with written notice of the Village's exercise of its right under its agreement with the Red Stars."

Regarding Leetzow's recent remarks about discrepancies between men's and women's sports Hanania stated, "The village's decision to schedule Riot Fest had nothing to do with gender."