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View From Subaru Park. Photo: Philadelphia Union.
View From Subaru Park. Photo: Philadelphia Union.

Philadelphia Union announces plan to unveil new sports and recreation complex

The new 170,000 sq. ft., 32-acre venue will be called the WSFS Bank Sportsplex, and will be housed on the Chester Waterfront.

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On Tuesday, October 4, the Philadelphia Union announced that it will be unveiling a new sportsplex in partnership with WSFS Bank. 

The WSFS Bank Sportsplex will be a world-class, 170,000 sq. ft., 32-acre sports and recreation complex, and is part of a more than $55-million-dollar development and revitalization project on the Chester Waterfront.

“The announcement of WSFS Bank Sportsplex is the beginning of an important next chapter for the Philadelphia Union and the growth and development of the Chester Waterfront,” said Tim McDermott, Philadelphia Union President, in a press release. 

He added that the project is a continued part of the Union’s commitment to community and “desire to be an agent for positive change.”

The goal of the project is to create jobs and tourism while injecting millions of dollars into the Chester community. It will also bring the Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC Academy to one campus alongside the first and second teams, furthering the commitment to youth development and the player-to-pro pathway. 

“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,” said Philadelphia Union Principal Owner Jay Sugarman.

As part of a naming rights entitlement, WSFS, in addition to bearing the name of the new sportsplex, will also donate 365 hours of field and facility usage to community organizations.

Rodger Levenson, WSFS Chairman, President and CEO, said he and WSFS “are proud of the legacy” they are “building together for the community and the region.”

The new state-of-the-art sports complex will span 32 acres between Subaru Park and the Union Power Plant office building. It will include a 100,000 sq. ft. indoor facility that will be available for community use and an adjacent 70,000 sq. ft. support building that will house Philadelphia Union II, and the Philadelphia Union Academy. The indoor facilities will include a 125x75 yard turf field, two courts that are capable of hosting four cross-width courts, a 20,000 sq. ft. performance center with weight room and sprint track, locker rooms, and a café for athletes and guests. 

The indoor facility will be complemented by seven outdoor multi-sport fields, including one championship grass field with spectator seating, two additional full-size grass fields, one youth-size grass field, and three full-size turf fields. 

It is estimated that the build will create $90 million in economic impact over the first decade and provide 500,000 visits annually to the Chester Waterfront. Beyond its positive economic impact, the sportsplex will donate hundreds of additional hours in court and field time for community use and health and wellness programming, available to be used by Chester youth and local organizations. 

Chester City Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland said, “This project shows the continued commitment and partnership that the city shares with the Philadelphia Union. It will create better jobs, more recreational opportunities, and a bridge that connects our community to our beautiful waterfront.”

The groundbreaking for the WSFS Sportsplex is scheduled to take place in the Winter of 2022-23, with the outdoor fields in place by August 2023, and the indoor facilities to open in June 2024. 

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