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Philadelphia area gets Major League Soccer's 16th team

Philadelphia area gets Major League Soccer's 16th team

The Philadelphia suburb of Chester was awarded a Major League Soccer team on Thursday that will start play in 2010.
The unnamed team will become the 16th in MLS and end a three-decade absence of men's professional outdoor soccer in the Philadelphia area.
MLS officials and Pennsylvania state Governor Ed Rendell announced plans for the league to set up a new franchise along the waterfront of Chester, a once-proud manufacturing city trying to turn its fortunes around.
State officials hope the franchise will be a key part of a $414 million (euro274 million) revitalization effort for the waterfront of Chester, an economically struggling city southwest of Philadelphia. A Harrah's slots casino recently opened at a nearby new horse racing track.
This month, Rendell announced $47 million (euro31 million) in public funding for the 18,500-seat, soccer-only stadium. The rest of the plan calls for a convention center as well as commercial, retail and residential space.
Rendell noted that there has been criticism of using public funds for the stadium, but he said the impact of the sports franchise on the troubled city's psyche could not be quantified.
Other than a brief interlude by a women's pro team that was part of the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association, the area has not had a pro outdoor team since the Philadelphia Fury ended its three-year stay in 1980. Previously, the Philadelphia Atoms played in the city from 1973-76.


Updated : 2021-07-29 05:32 GMT+08:00