Talen Energy Stadium

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Talen Energy Stadium
TalenEnergyStadium.png
PPL Park Interior from the River End 2010.10.02 (cropped).jpg
View of the interior of Talen Energy Stadium, from the Sons of Ben supporters section, the River End in 2010
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Talen Energy Stadium
Location in Pennsylvania
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Talen Energy Stadium
Location in the United States
Former namesPPL Park (2010–2015)
Address1 Stadium Drive
Location Chester, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°49′56″N75°22′44″W / 39.83222°N 75.37889°W / 39.83222; -75.37889 Coordinates: 39°49′56″N75°22′44″W / 39.83222°N 75.37889°W / 39.83222; -75.37889
Public transit Aiga bus trans.svg SEPTA.svg SEPTA bus: 113 (at stadium)
SEPTA.svg Chester Transportation Center: Aiga bus trans.svg SEPTA.svg SEPTA bus: 37, 109, 113, 114, 117, 118, 119
Owner Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Operator Keystone S&E
Capacity 18,500 (Soccer)
26,000 (Concerts) [1]
Field size120 × 75 yards
SurfacePerennial Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction
Broke groundDecember 1, 2008
OpenedJune 27, 2010 [2]
Construction cost$120 million [3]
($138 million in 2018 dollars [4] )
Architect Rossetti Architects
Project managerICON Venue Group
Structural engineerPennoni Associates Inc. [5]
General contractorT.N. Ward Company [6]
Tenants
Philadelphia Union (MLS) (2010–present)
Army–Navy Cup (NCAA) (2012–present)
Bethlehem Steel FC (USLC) (2019–present)
Collegiate Rugby Championship (2011–present)
Premier Lacrosse League Championship (2019)

Talen Energy Stadium (formerly known as PPL Park) is an American soccer-specific stadium located in Chester, Pennsylvania and is home to the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. [7] The project is the result of combined commitments of $30 million from Delaware County and $47 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Talen Energy is the stadium's naming rights sponsor.

Soccer-specific stadium Type of sports stadium

Soccer-specific stadium is a term used mainly in the United States and Canada to refer to a sports stadium either purpose-built or fundamentally redesigned for soccer and whose primary function is to host soccer matches, as opposed to a multipurpose stadium which is for a variety of sports. A soccer-specific stadium may host other sporting events and concerts, but the design and purpose of a soccer-specific stadium is primarily for soccer. Some facilities have a permanent stage at one end of the stadium used for staging concerts.

Chester, Pennsylvania Place in Pennsylvania, United States

Chester is a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 33,972 at the 2010 census it is the largest city in Delaware County. Incorporated in 1682, Chester is the oldest city in Pennsylvania and is located on the western bank of the Delaware River between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.

Philadelphia Union association football club

The Philadelphia Union is an American professional soccer team based in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Union competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference. The club began play in 2010 as an expansion team of the league. The club plays their home matches at Talen Energy Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in Chester on the banks of the Delaware River. Jim Curtin is the Union's head coach.

Contents

The stadium is located on Chester's waterfront along the Delaware River, at the Commodore Barry Bridge's southwestern corner. Talen Energy Stadium [8] was designed to be a catalyst for economic development on the waterfront, with additional plans calling for a riverwalk amidst other entertainment, retail, and residential projects. The stadium was constructed by T.N. Ward Company, which is based in Ardmore. [9]

Delaware River major river on the East coast of the United States of America

The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States. It drains an area of 14,119 square miles (36,570 km2) in five U.S. states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania. Rising in two branches in New York state's Catskill Mountains, the river flows 419 miles (674 km) into Delaware Bay where its waters enter the Atlantic Ocean near Cape May in New Jersey and Cape Henlopen in Delaware. Not including Delaware Bay, the river's length including its two branches is 388 miles (624 km). The Delaware River is one of nineteen "Great Waters" recognized by the America's Great Waters Coalition.

Commodore Barry Bridge

The Commodore Barry Bridge is a cantilever bridge that spans the Delaware River from Chester, Pennsylvania to Bridgeport, in Logan Township, New Jersey, USA. It is named after the American Revolutionary War hero and Philadelphia resident John Barry.

Ardmore, Pennsylvania Census-designated place in Pennsylvania, United States

Ardmore is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Delaware and Montgomery counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The population was 12,455 at the 2010 census. Ardmore is a suburb on the west side of Philadelphia, within Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County and Haverford Township in Delaware County. Originally named "Athensville" in 1853, the community and its railroad station were renamed "Ardmore" in 1873 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, on whose Main Line, west out of Philadelphia, Ardmore sits at Milepost 8.5.

Construction

Major League Soccer (MLS) had been interested in entering the Philadelphia market for several years, with many promises of a team by Commissioner Don Garber, as evidenced by his statement, "It's not a matter of if but when Philadelphia gets a team." [10] Initially, Major League Soccer was interested in a site in the borough of Bristol, about 23 miles (37 km) north of Center City, Philadelphia. [11] Those plans never came to fruition. Later, Rowan University provided details for a soccer stadium near its campus in Glassboro, New Jersey. However, funding from the state of New Jersey fell through in 2006.

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league in the United States and Canada

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League. The league plans to expand to 27 teams with the addition of Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC in 2020 and Austin FC in 2021, with further plans to expand to 28 teams by 2022 and 30 teams at a later date.

Don Garber American sports executive

Don Garber has served as the Commissioner of Major League Soccer since 1999. Garber is also the CEO of Soccer United Marketing and a member of the United States Soccer Federation board of directors.

Bristol, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Bristol Borough is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 23 miles (37 km) northeast of Center City Philadelphia, opposite Burlington, New Jersey on the Delaware River. Bristol Borough predates Philadelphia, being settled in 1681 and first incorporated in 1720. After 1834, the town became very important to the development of the American Industrial Revolution as the terminus city of the Delaware Canal providing greater Philadelphia with the days High Tech Anthracite fuels from the Lehigh Canal via Easton. The canal and a short trip on the Delaware also gave the town access to the mineral resources available in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York via each of the Morris Canal, the Delaware and Hudson Canal, and the Delaware and Raritan Canal, and connected the community to those markets and trade from New York City. These were among the factors spurring development of Bristol and nearby towns, explaining in part the industries which developed in the region.

In late 2006, a group of investors led by Rob Buccini, co-founder of the Buccini/Pollin Group; Jay Sugarman, chief executive of iStar Financial; and James Nevels, a former chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, initiated the planning for a soccer-specific stadium in the city of Chester after the funding for the Rowan project failed to pass the New Jersey legislature. After many months of negotiations, Delaware County politicians announced their approval of funding for the stadium in October 2007. [12] Delaware County owns the land and the stadium itself, while the team owns the naming rights based on their approval of a 30-year lease. The newly formed Delaware County Sports Authority pays the county's share of $30 million through taxes from the Harrah's Chester harness racing track and casino. An additional $80 million was contributed by private investors.

New Jersey State of the United States of America

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states with its biggest city being Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.

On January 31, 2008, Governor Ed Rendell and Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, unveiled a combined soccer stadium and economic revitalization package for the city of Chester. [13] $25 million was allocated to the construction of the stadium, with an additional $7 million towards a two-phase project composed of 186 townhouses, 25 apartments, 335,000 square feet (31,100 m2) of office space, a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) convention center, more than 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of retail space, and a parking structure to house 1,350 cars. In phase two, another 200 apartments will be built, along with 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of office space and 22,000 square feet (2,000 m2) of retail space. [14]

Ed Rendell American lawyer and politician

Edward Gene Rendell is an American lawyer, prosecutor, politician, and author who, as a member of the Democratic Party, served as the 45th Governor of Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2011 and the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2000.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) worked with the city of Chester to ensure that construction activities did not impact the nearby parking facility which had been the site of the Wade Dump, a previously polluted Superfund site. [15]

Wade Dump

Wade Dump is a once-polluted Superfund cleanup site located at 1 Flower Street in Chester, Pennsylvania. Located on the western bank of the Delaware River just north of the Commodore Barry Bridge, the three-acre site once served as a rubber recycling facility and an illegal industrial waste storage and disposal facility. A toxic fire at the site in 1978 resulted in 43 injured firefighters and criminal charges for the owner of the site.

Superfund United States federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances

Superfund is a United States federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. Sites managed under this program are referred to as "Superfund" sites. It was established as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). It authorizes federal natural resource agencies, primarily the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states and Native American tribes to recover natural resource damages caused by hazardous substances, though most states have and most often use their own versions of CERCLA. CERCLA created the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The EPA may identify parties responsible for hazardous substances releases to the environment (polluters) and either compel them to clean up the sites, or it may undertake the cleanup on its own using the Superfund and costs recovered from polluters by referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Soccer

Construction delays led to the Philadelphia Union's decision to play their inaugural home game at Lincoln Financial Field instead of Talen Energy Stadium. [16] Their first match at the stadium was played on June 27, 2010, when they defeated Seattle Sounders FC 3–1. Sébastien Le Toux scored the Union's first goal at the stadium on a penalty kick. However, Pat Noonan of Sounders FC scored the first goal in the venue's history.

The stadium's record attendance was achieved on July 25, 2012, for the 2012 MLS All-Star Game when the MLS All-Stars defeated Chelsea FC 3–2 in front of 19,236 fans. [17]

Due to consistently high attendance and ticket sales, in 2011 the Philadelphia Union expressed interest in expanding the capacity of the stadium. The planned expansion would occur in three phases, initially to 20,000, then to 27,000, and finally to approximately 30,000. [18]

Other sports

Rugby Union

Maori All Blacks performing their haka prior to their match against the United States in 2013. 2013 Maori All Blacks tour of North America at PPL Park.jpg
Māori All Blacks performing their haka prior to their match against the United States in 2013.

Collegiate Rugby Championship

Talen Energy Stadium has hosted the Collegiate Rugby Championship every June since 2011. [19] [20] The Collegiate Rugby Championship is the highest profile college rugby competition in the United States, and is broadcast live on NBC every year. Over 17,800 fans attended the 2011 tournament. [21]

United States national team

Talen Energy Stadium hosted its first rugby union international on November 9, 2013, when the Maori All Blacks squared off against the United States. A sold out crowd of 18,500 witnessed a hard-fought match in which the visiting Maori All Blacks won 29-19. [22]

English Premiership

It was announced on May 17, 2017 that English side Newcastle Falcons would play their home Premiership Rugby game against Saracens at the stadium on September 16, 2017. This was the second English premiership game hosted in the US and Saracens' second visit after London Irish hosted them at the Red Bull Arena, New Jersey on March 12, 2016. [23]

List of Premiership Rugby The American Series games
SeasonDateTelevisionHome teamResultAway TeamTournamentAttendanceVenue
2017–18 September 16, 2017 NBC Flag of England.svg Newcastle Falcons 7-29 Flag of England.svg Saracens Premiership Rugby 6,271Talen Energy Stadium

College football

The first college football game played at Talen Energy Stadium was the Battle of the Blue on November 19, 2011, in which Delaware beat Villanova to earn the trophy for the first time. [24] These same two teams met again on November 23, 2013, with Villanova beating Delaware 35-34.

Lacrosse

The stadium hosted two quarterfinal matches in the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship. [25] In 2013, the stadium hosted the Major League Lacrosse's Championship known as the Steinfeld Cup. In this game, the Chesapeake Bayhawks defeated the Charlotte Hounds 10-9 in front of 3,892 fans. On April 24 & 26, 2015, the 2015 ACC Lacrosse Championship was hosted at the facility. [26] In 2015, the stadium hosted the NCCA Division I and Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship. Maryland beat North Carolina in the DI game while SUNY Cortland beat Trinity College of Hartford in the DIII game. In 2016, the stadium again hosted the NCAA Division I and Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship, May 28 and May 29, 2016.

At the high school level, notable events included the boys' 2015 Inter-Academic League Championship game, between The Haverford School, from Pennsylvania, and The Hun School of New Jersey. The Haverford School won the game, as well as the Inter-Ac title, capping off a perfect 23-0 season.

Ultimate

Major League Ultimate had hosted two of its annual championship games at Talen Energy Stadium. The first was on July 19, 2014 when the DC Current defeated the Vancouver Nighthawks 23-17. The stadium again hosted the championship on August 8, 2015 in which the Boston Whitecaps defeated the Seattle Rainmakers 31-17.

Drum & bugle corps

Given its ability to be used as a football field, Talen Energy Stadium has recently been used as an annual site for the Drum Corps International Summer Competition Tour. [27]

Other soccer uses

Talen Energy Stadium before semi-final game between Philadelphia Independence and magicJack in 2010--the Independence's final home game ever. PPL Park before Independence Playoff Game 2010.jpg
Talen Energy Stadium before semi-final game between Philadelphia Independence and magicJack in 2010--the Independence's final home game ever.

The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, have played their annual men's soccer rivalry, called the Army–Navy Cup at Talen Energy Stadium. The 2012 meeting marked just the third time in the 75-year history of the soccer rivalry that the schools met at a neutral location and was the first regular-season neutral site meeting, with the previous two occurring in the NCAA tournament. Philadelphia is the traditional home of the classic football rivalry and is halfway between the two schools. [28] 3,672 turned out for the first Philadelphia matchup. [29]

After the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Big East Men's Soccer Tournament was moved to PPL from Red Bull Arena. [30] PPL served as host again in 2013 for the restructured conference's tournament. [31] The stadium also hosted an international friendly between Greece and Nigeria in 2014. The match was a scoreless draw.

The 2013 College Cup was held at Talen Energy Stadium; the tournament will return to the venue in 2017. The first set of matches of the 2017 SheBelieves Cup was played at the stadium, in which France beat England and the USA beat Germany.

Features

When the initial architectural drawings were revealed, the stadium was to have been an oval-shaped stadium with a cantilevered roof covering all seating areas – not unlike most European football grounds. After consulting with the nascent club's supporters, the Union's ownership group, Keystone Sports & Entertainment, re-designed a specific entrance for the Sons of Ben supporters group in recognition of their loyalty. [32] This entrance leads into a 2,000-seat section at the southeast end of the stadium reserved specifically for the group known as The River End. [33] Additional features include thirty luxury suites, a full-service restaurant and club above the Chester End, a built-in concert stage in The River End (which has yet to be used), and cantilevered roofs running above the Main and Bridge Stands. Even with the inclusion of these features, approximately sixty percent of the venue's spectators will be able to view the Commodore Barry Bridge and the Delaware River from their seats. The exterior façade is made up of brick and natural stone, a continuity of traditional Philadelphia architecture. [1]

PPL Park Interior from the Southwest Stands 2010.10.02.jpg
View of the interior of Talen Energy Stadium, from the southwest corner of the Main Stand facing the Bridge Stand and the Commodore Barry Bridge in 2010. To the left is the Chester End and the right The River End, which is separate from the rest of the stadium.

Sponsors

Stadium's former logo PPL Park logo.png
Stadium's former logo

On February 25, 2010, the Philadelphia Union announced that the Allentown-based PPL Corporation purchased the naming rights to its home venue for $20 million over 11 years. As part of the deal, PPL EnergyPlus provides the stadium with sustainable energy derived from other sources in Pennsylvania. [34]

The Panasonic Corporation provides broadcast and television production systems, large-screen LED displays, security systems, and point-of-sale systems. [35] The stadium is unique in that no American flag is flown visible to the spectators or participants inside the facility.

On November 30, 2015, Talen Energy assumed naming rights and energy supply of the stadium. Talen Energy spun off as an electricity producer from PPL which in turn concentrated on transmission and distribution aspects. [36]

Awards

In September 2010, Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine named the stadium the "Sports/Recreation Project of the Year." The company grants the award to premier construction projects in the Mid-Atlantic region. [37] In February 2011, the Delaware County Planning Commission awarded the stadium the 2010 William H. Bates Memorial Award. [38] Since 1980, the honor is presented annually to real-estate developers that improved a Delaware County property.

Concessions

Talen Energy Stadium features many of the foods commonly sold at American sports venues, and also offers traditional Philadelphia food items such cheesesteaks, hoagies, and soft pretzels (shaped like the Union's primary logo). Several foods are provided by local companies such as Turkey Hill, [39] Herr's Snacks [40] and Seasons Pizza, [41] while beers from local breweries such as Victory and Dogfish Head are also available. [42]

Transportation

Like the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, the stadium is located near Interstate 95. It is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Chester Transportation Center SEPTA station, where shuttle service is provided from four hours prior to kickoff and from full-time until the park is empty. The Philadelphia International Airport is 5 miles (8.0 km) away. [1]

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The 2016 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship was the 35th annual single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of Division I NCAA women's college lacrosse. The semifinal and championship rounds were played at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania from May 27–29, 2016. All other rounds were played at campus sites, usually at the home field of the higher-seeded team, from May 13–22.

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  37. "PPL Park Wins Construction Award". Philadelphia Union. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  38. "PPL Park Receives William H. Bates Memorial Award". Philadelphia Union. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
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Preceded by
Regions Park
BBVA Compass Stadium
Host of the College Cup
2013
2017
Succeeded by
WakeMed Soccer Park
TBD