Success Of Union's Partnership With City Of Chester Still Up For Debate
The Union are in their 10th season with MLS now, but looking at the local relationship with Chester, Pa., where Talon Energy Stadium sits, it all "reads like one big missed opportunity," according to Matthew DeGeorge of the Delaware County DAILY TIMES. The Union has the "resources to do more," as it controls "copious empty lots on the waterfront." Chester's future is "brighter for having the Union be a part of it, even though the costs were high." The "legacy of the Union seems destined to always be conflicted," but that "may just be a natural condition of governments sinking taxpayer funds into an entity that promises intangible benefits." Ten years ago, there was "nothing on the Chester waterfront just south of the Commodore Barry Bridge." These days, the Chester Riverwalk is "lovely, even if it connects two barren plots of land." Talen Energy Stadium's "scenic allure is among the best in MLS, even if it stands empty more than 300 days a year." But hospitality shown by Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Chester and the Delaware River Port Authority to the team "required more than just being a good neighbor" -- it "meant that the money that went into owners' pockets had to come out in some [form] on the other end and trickle down to the rest of Chester." Where the Union can effect change, "in many instances, it hasn't." Chester High School "still has no scholastic soccer." Meanwhile, soccer is "growing via non-Union entities such as Chester Upland Youth Soccer and the William Trippley Youth Development Foundation." Now it is "time to make the best of it, from all sides" (Delaware County DAILY TIMES, 3/7).