SBD/June 10, 2011/Facilities

Philadelphia Union Planning To Expand PPL Park, Add More Than 11,000 Seats

Union will expand PPL Park in two phases, starting no sooner than '13

MLS Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz and his business team “have begun strategizing a 10-year plan that will increase PPL Park’s available seating capacity from its current 18,500 to as many as 30,000,” according to Christopher Vito of the DELAWARE COUNTY DAILY TIMES. The "two-phase plan -- one upping available seating to 20,000 and the other to 30,000 -- is to add seating to four regions of the stadium." That includes "adding a deck in the River End," which means the "scenic aspects of the stadium would be compromised during this expansion project." Sakiewicz stressed that the club "does not intend to begin this expansion project” until ’13, in order to "prevent Union fans from wearing hardhats to PPL Park." But he said, "It was always our plan from Day 1. We have a 10-year plan we embarked on last year and we knew somewhere along the line we would have a need to expand." He added, "We designed this stadium with intent to expand. Fortunately, we have a team that requires expansion sooner than later." Sakiewicz emphasized that the Union's "place atop the Eastern Conference table had no impact on the rapidity of this expansion project." Vito noted Villanova Univ. football, "with a pending jump to the Football Bowl Subdivision, has been rumored to be in negotiations with the Union to use PPL Park as its home venue" (DELAWARE COUNTY DAILY TIMES, 6/9).

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