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PPL Park
PPL Park logo.jpg
Philly Union stadium.PNG
Location Seaport Drive
Chester, PA 19013
Coordinates 39°49′56″N 75°22′44″W / 39.83222°N 75.37889°W / 39.83222; -75.37889Coordinates: 39°49′56″N 75°22′44″W / 39.83222°N 75.37889°W / 39.83222; -75.37889
Broke ground December 1, 2008
Opened June 27, 2010 [1] (planned)
Owner Delaware County, PA
Operator City of Chester
Surface Grass
Construction cost $120 million[2]
Architect Rossetti Architects,
ICON Venue Group
Capacity 18,500(Soccer)
26,000 (Concerts)[3]
Field dimensions 120 × 74 yards
Tenants
Philadelphia Union (MLS) (2010- )
Philadelphia Independence (WPS) (2011- )

PPL Park is a soccer-specific stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania, United States, that is currently under construction. It is the planned home of Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer club, and the Philadelphia Independence of Women's Professional Soccer.[4][5] The project is the result of combined commitments of $30 million from Delaware County and $47 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The stadium site is located on Chester's waterfront along the Delaware River, at the Commodore Barry Bridge's southwestern corner. PPL Park[6] was designed to be a catalyst for economic development on the waterfront, with additional plans calling for a riverwalk amidst other entertainment, retail, and residential projects. The stadium is being constructed by the Ardmore, Pennsylvania-based T.N. Ward Company.[7]

On February 25, 2010, Philadelphia Union announced that the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based PPL Corporation purchased the naming rights to its home venue for $20 million over 11 years. As part of the deal, PPL EnergyPlus will provide the stadium with sustainable energy derived from other sources in Pennsylvania.[8]

Contents

History

Major League Soccer (MLS) had been interested in entering the Philadelphia market for several years, with many promises of a team by Commissioner Don Garber, as evidenced by his statement, "It's not a matter of if but when Philadelphia gets a team."[9] Initially, Major League Soccer was interested in a site in the borough of Bristol, Pennsylvania, about 23 miles (37 km) north of downtown Philadelphia.[10] Those plans never came to fruition. Later, Rowan University provided details for a soccer stadium near its campus in Glassboro, New Jersey. However, funding from the state of New Jersey fell through in 2006.

In late 2006, a group of investors led by Rob Buccini, co-founder of the Buccini/Pollin Group; Jay Sugarman, chief executive of iStar Financial; and James Nevels, a former chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, initiated the planning for a soccer-specific stadium in the city of Chester after the funding for the Rowan project failed to pass the New Jersey legislature. After many months of negotiations, Delaware County politicians announced their approval of funding for the stadium in October 2007.[11] Delaware County will own the land and the stadium itself, while the team will own the naming rights based on their approval of a 30-year lease. The newly formed Delaware County Sports Authority will pay the county's share of $30 million through taxes from the Harrah's Chester casino. An additional $80 million will be donated by private investors.

On January 31, 2008, Governor Ed Rendell and Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, unveiled a combined soccer stadium and economic revitalization package for the city of Chester.[12] $25 million was allocated to the construction of PPL Park, with an additional $7 million towards a two-phase project composed of 186 townhouses, 25 apartments, 335,000 square feet (31,100 m2) of office space, a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) convention center, more than 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of retail space, and a parking structure to house 1,350 cars. In phase two, another 200 apartments will be built, along with 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of office space and 22,000 square feet (2,000 m2) of retail space.[13]

The United Football League, a professional football organization that played its inaugural season in the fall of 2009, is considering the tenancy of a Philadelphia-area franchise at PPL Park. The league markets itself as a low-cost alternative to the National Football League for spectators and a place for unsigned, professional players to continue their careers. A Philadelphia team would deem itself as a more prudent viewership option to the Philadelphia Eagles, a National Football League team.[14]

Delays in construction led to Philadelphia Union announcing that their inaugural home game in April 2010 will not take place at PPL Park, and will instead take place at Lincoln Financial Field.[15]

Features

Philadelphia Union's ownership group, Keystone Sports & Entertainment, designed a specific entrance of PPL Park for the Sons of Ben supporters group in recognition of their loyalty.[16] This entrance will lead into a 2,000-seat section reserved specifically for the club.[17] Additional features include 30 luxury suites, a full-service restaurant, a built-in concert stage, and sideline roofs designed to protect fans from the elements. Even with the inclusion of these features, approximately 60% of the venue's spectators will be able to view the Commodore Barry Bridge and the Delaware River from their seats. PPL Park's façade will be made up of brick and natural stone, a continuity of traditional Philadelphia architecture.[3] Its concessions, catering, and ticket sales will be managed by the Philadelphia-based Comcast Spectacor company.[3] The Panasonic Corporation are one of the stadium's major sponsors and will be the provider of broadcast and television production systems, large-screen LED displays, security systems, and point-of-sale systems.[18]

Transportation

Like the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, PPL Park is located near Interstate 95. It is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Highland Avenue and Chester Transportation Center stations. The Philadelphia International Airport is 5 miles (8.0 km) from PPL Park.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Inaugural Season Schedule Unveiled". PhiladelphiaUnion.com. http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/ReadNews.aspx?aid=251. Retrieved February 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Soccer's Union to kick off a deal with PPL". Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20100224_Soccer_s_Union_to_kick_off_a_deal_with_PPL.html. Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Union Field". philadelphiaunion.com. http://philadelphiaunion.com/Content1.aspx?cid=4.0. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Delaware County approves funding for MLS stadium". Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20071023_Funding__warning_on_soccer_stadium.html. Retrieved October 24, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Women's Professional Soccer". Womensprosoccer.com. March 17, 2009. http://www.womensprosoccer.com/soccer_ektid2882.aspx. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Have you spread the word?". Philadelphia Union. http://philadelphiaunion.com/Content1.aspx?cid=2.1. Retrieved August 21, 2009. 
  7. ^ Gammage, Jeff (September 8, 2008). "Much rides on stadium builder". Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20080908_Much_rides_on_stadium_builder.html. Retrieved September 8, 2008. 
  8. ^ Jasner, Andy (February 25, 2010). "PPL buys naming-rights". Philadelphia Union. http://philadelphiaunion.com/ReadNews.aspx?aid=285. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ Narducci, Marc (January 18, 2006). "Philly's in play for an MLS team". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D01. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_kmtpi/is_200601/ai_n16005465. Retrieved October 24, 2007. 
  10. ^ "MLS fishing along the Delaware". Philly Burbs. http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/76-07292005-520748.html. Retrieved October 24, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Delaware County's Field of Dreams". The Delaware County Daily Times. http://www.delcotimes.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/Daily;jsessionid=GnThHpQC15BTT1f4rF4K4tWwJpqZ5FLvv01qs2hddh4yp2GbJrLT!772848949?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FDCT%2FHome&r21.content=%2FDCT%2FHome%2FContentTab_Feature_785405. Retrieved October 24, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Rendell and Pileggi unveil new economic and stadium deal". DelcoTimes.com. http://www.delcotimes.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/Daily;jsessionid=tKj4Hv2c8pSrnv5LNxLWvzTDLPnvPsvGMScqYyQvsTDMCYw0LFht!-1019023892?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FDCT%2FHome&r21.content=%2FDCT%2FHome%2FTopStoryList_Story_1513832. Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Major hurdle cleared for Philly expansion". Major League Soccer. http://www.mlsnet.com//news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20080131&content_id=137294&vkey=news_mls&fext=.jsp. Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  14. ^ "PPL Park could be on UFL radar". The Delaware County Daily Times. http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2009/04/12/sports/doc49e156a453887761576134.txt. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  15. ^ Gammage, Jeff (September 23, 2009). "Linc to host first Phila. Union soccer game". Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/soccer/20090923_Linc_to_host_first_Phila__Union_soccer_game.html. Retrieved September 23, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Meet the Owners Chat: Nick Sakiewicz". Sons of Ben. May 22, 2008. http://sonsofben.net/Home/Entries/2008/5/22_Meet_the_Owners_Chat%3A_Nick_Sakiewicz.html. Retrieved September 8, 2008. 
  17. ^ MLSPhilly2010 Staff (August 5, 2008). "MLSPhilly2010 Hires Rossetti and ICON to Design $115 Million, 18,500 Multi-Purpose Stadium". Major League Soccer. http://www.mlsphilly2010.com/index.php/MLS/article/mls_philadelphia_hires_rossetti_and_icon_to_design_115_million_18500_seat_m/. Retrieved September 8, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Stadium to be "Powered by Panasonic"". Panasonic Corporation of North America. http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prModelDetail?storeId=11301&catalogId=13251&itemId=328235&modelNo=Content02092009100106637&surfModel=Content02092009100106637. Retrieved August 22, 2009. 

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