Union announce new 170,000 square foot waterfront complex originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The red-hot, first-place Philadelphia Union announced plans Tuesday for a gigantic new $55 million waterfront complex that the team says is expected to open in 2023 and 2024.
The WSFS Bank Sportsplex will be a "365-day-a-year", 170,000 square foot sports complex on the Chester waterfront, the team said in a release Tuesday, that will bring the organization's academies into one central location alongside their home stadium Subaru Park.
The sportsplex will include a 125x75-yard indoor turf field, two indoor courts which are capable of hosting eight cross-width courts, a 20,000 square foot indoor performance center with weight room and sprint track, locker rooms, and a café for athletes and guests. The sportsplex will also include seven outdoor multi-sport fields including one grass field with spectator seating, two full-size grass fields, one youth-size grass field, and three full-size turf fields.
The Union also released photo and video renders of the sportsplex:
The team said the development is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of extra visits to the Chester waterfront and generate tens of millions for the area. The team is also committing to "donate 365 hours of field and facility usage to community organizations."
The team did not outline its projections or what those hours will look like. The team and the arena were also expected by those involved more than a decade ago to bring millions to Chester and help reshape the city, but years later those envisioned revitalizations haven't materialized.
There's also the question of parking since the creation of the sportsplex will eliminate a parking lot used for those attending games at Subaru Park. A Union spokesperson told the Philadelphia Inquirer the team has plans to acquire more space for parking lots but did not provide details. Public transit to the stadium is notoriously light.
"This best-in-class facility will provide a singular home for our professional and academy teams while creating a premier destination for local youth groups to fall in love with sports," Philadelphia Union Principal Owner Jay Sugarman said in a release. "Alongside Subaru Park, WSFS Bank Sportsplex will become another centerpiece of our club and community strategy and I could not be more proud to see this project come to fruition."
The Union are currently first in the Eastern Conference table and second overall in Major League Soccer, three points behind LAFC. The organization is going through easily the best stretch of consistent winning in franchise history: the Union finished first in the East and first overall in MLS in 2020 and second in the East and sixth overall in 2021. The Union reached the Conference Finals of the MLS Cup in 2021.
They've also experienced international success as Philadelphia Union product and Medford, New Jersey native Brenden Aaronson has made his mark with Leeds United in England's Premier League, the highest level of club football in the world.