Philadelphia Union, the expansion Major League Soccer club, announces their first ever home opener will be Saturday, April 10th at Lincoln Financial Field, against Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United. In addition, Philadelphia Union announces a partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles on a multi-year agreement to bring the best teams and the best players in the world to Lincoln Financial Field.
With the need for MLS to finalize its schedule for all 16 teams, Philadelphia Union made a decision to open at Lincoln Financial Field, knowing thousands more fans will be able to witness this historic first home match in club history.
"Bringing our great fans together with D.C. United's supporters should create an incredible atmosphere to kick things off," explained CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. "In crafting this relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles and Soccer United Marketing, we're ensuring that our fans will have an opportunity to see the absolute greats of our game from around the world and throughout our league for many years to come."
Since we now know that our stadium will not be ready in early April, we made this decision to enable the League to move forward with its plans. Construction is moving along rapidly, and I can assure everyone that we will play the vast majority of our games in Chester this season," Sakiewicz added.
The 'Summer of Soccer' just concluded, generating nearly 2-million fans in 103 matches throughout 53 days across the United States. That included the US Men's National Team in a CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader in Philadelphia, with the likes of FC Barcelona, Chelsea, AC Milan and Real Madrid, playing in front of huge crowds all across the country: 93,137 at the Rose Bowl; 82,252 in Dallas and 79,156 at Giants Stadium.
With the FIFA World CupTM up for bid for 2018 and 2022, the partnership between Philadelphia Union and the Eagles, bringing additional mega-international games to Philadelphia, will further enhance the city's effort to bring the world's largest sporting event to the United States and to our town.
"We are very glad to be a part of this collaboration with Philadelphia Union and Soccer United Marketing. It's not only great for people who love sports; it is also good ultimately for the region's economy. By targeting the very best soccer clubs in Europe and South America, we are able to put Philadelphia and the region on the international stage for sports and hospitality," said Eagles President, Joe Banner. "We are especially pleased to partner with Philadelphia Union to celebrate their inaugural game here at Lincoln Financial Field
The combined capacity of Philadelphia Union's permanent home in Chester and Lincoln Financial Field go a long way toward establishing a solid foundation and positioning the Greater Philadelphia region as one of the nation's primary destinations for the highest levels of international soccer.
"This is a great partnership that will go a long way toward making exciting things happen for sports in the region," added Philadelphia Sports Congress Executive Director Larry Needle. "This will serve to enhance Philadelphia's reputation as one of the country's great sports destinations, and ultimately, result in the region hosting even more of the world's best soccer."
For more information on Philadelphia Union's First Kick in Philadelphia, please visit www.philadelphiaunion.com.