Major League Soccer in the Philadelphia-region
The Philadelphia Union, the region’s first Major League Soccer club, has been thrilling soccer fans since their inaugural season in 2010. Dedicated fans, including the boisterous Sons of Ben, cheer on the Union at PPL Park located in Chester along the scenic banks of the Delaware River.
The exciting atmosphere and game day experience has led to near sell-out crowds at every home game. So put on your Navy Blue and Gold and let’s go Union!
The home of the Philadelphia Union, PPL Park, is a modern, 18,500-seat stadium near the base of the Commodore Barry Bridge in Chester. Opened on June 27, 2010, PPL Park is considered the first step in a multi-million dollar riverfront revitalization project in Chester.
The layout of the stadium provides over half of the spectators with views of the Delaware River and the Commodore Barry Bridge. There is also a specialized section for the “Sons of Ben” who lobbied to bring Philadelphia its first MLS team.
PPL Park also features a full-service restaurant, 30 luxury suites and a wide variety of concessions to keep fans well fed during the game.
The stadium also is equipped with a full stage setup and plays host to a number of festivals. The parking areas around the stadium are also extremely popular with fans that wish to tailgate prior to the game.
Fans surely won’t go hungry when they go to cheer on the Union at PPL Park.
Philly favorite Chickie’s & Pete’s has two locations in the stadium if you need a Crab Fries fix and there are also the requisite cheese steak, hot dog and pretzel vendors. Loyal fans had to the Black Angus Grill for the half-pound Union Burger, which is topped with an onion ring, bacon, cheese and barbeque sauce.
Wash down that tasty burger with a variety of beers from the Snake and Shield, which also happens to be the Philadelphia Union logo.
Following a major grassroots effort, including a major push from a supporters association known as the Sons of Ben (founded in 2007), Philadelphia was chosen as the location for Major League Soccer’s 16th team on February 28, 2008. In May 2009, a fan poll officially dubbed the team the “Philadelphia Union.”
Navy blue and gold were chosen as the Union’s primary colors to represent the Continental Army’s uniforms during the revolutionary war. The team’s crest features thirteen gold stars, representing the original Thirteen Colonies, with a shield derived from the Philadelphia coat of arms. Prominently featured in the center of the logo is a rattlesnake to honor an early cartoon from founding father Benjamin Franklin.
Soccer fans are no slouches when it comes to cheering on their team, so it pays to be in the know before heading to the stadium. For instance, when the Union scores a goal, the Sons of Ben will break into a chant that goes: “DOOP DOOP DOOP da da DOOP DOOP DOOP da DOOP DOOP DOOP da da DOOP DOOP DOOP”
You can find more songs and chants heard at the stadium here.
PPL Park provides a shuttle to and from the Chester Transport for all SEPTA Regional Rail riders. Shuttle service begins four hours before game time and will end after most fans have left the stadium.
There is plenty of parking near the stadium, with space for tailgating. Click here for a detailed list of parking lots.