Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not all smiles

Philadelphia's MLS team broke ground on their $115 million stadium in Chester, Pa. on Monday. But not everyone is excited about the event.

Karen Heller of the Philadelphia Inquirer slammed the stadium's existence and wonders why a city as downtrodden as Chester would benefit from a soccer stadium. She also calls the funding of the stadium "public welfare for rich people" as some $77 million of the total price tag will be provided by public funds.

I'm sure many of us hope that this is an investment in the future of the league, a new stadium in a new market whose fans have embraced the league and their future entrant in it. If Philly gets as much support as some other teams to join the league recently such as Toronto and Real Salt Lake, it would only help the league.

Still, it does seem a bit strange to see such money tossed around in this economy but maybe that goes to show how business savvy MLS execs are. The on-the-field product isn't anywhere near perfect and salaries are lousy but the suits are still able to secure funding and bring in new investors into the league even in this economic climate.

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