You will not find many people who would argue that Chester needs a facelift. Well, Chester’s plastic surgery is coming in the form of a Philadelphia Major League Soccer team. The 414 million dollar Rivertown redevelopment project will hopefully do just that, and it all starts with the new 18,500 seat soccer stadium to be built on the Chester waterfront.
The 14-team Major League Soccer plans to expand to Seattle and hopefully Chester. The league hopes to expand it’s fan-base and tap into the fourth largest television market in the United States. While other soccer teams have attempted to plant roots in the Philly area, none have been truly successful. The MLS is confident that this one will succeed, due to the model set by other MLS teams.
The new team would do more than just bring the excitement of MLS to the city though. One thousand new jobs would be created, according to Chester Council Chairman Andrew Reilly in a Philadelphia Daily News article. The hope is that the stadium and new surrounding attractions will breathe new life into the city. The state has 47 million dollars in financing for the team, 25 million of which will go to the stadium. It will also be paid for by 30 million dollars from Delaware County and 80 million from private investors.
The new team would be joining other MLS East Coast teams such as the D.C. United, New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution. Expansion is one key to improving the reputation and success of the MLS. The fast-paced action of the MLS promises to not only bring soccer fans together in Chester, but also new life to the city.