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Philly breaks ground on new Stadium


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So, the city of Chester, PA is, in the words of its mayor, "on the way back." Here's an interesting article on the ground-breaking.


I thought that the answer by one of the members of the ownership group was interesting (in a kind of "is he really that naive kind of way?").

If he thinks that the economy can't get any worse than it already is, he is in for a world of hurt. We ain't seen nothin' yet, folks. This has been a once-in-a-generation debt-fueled speculative bubble. Did you see that Donald Trump is once again going to bankrupt his company? I think this is the firth time, yet moron bankers keep on giving him money.

quote:With the turning of a few shovels of earth, construction officially began yesterday on a $115 million pro soccer stadium that backers promise will help transform the struggling city of Chester.

"I have to pinch myself," said Mayor Wendell Butler Jr. "Chester is on the way back."

State and local leaders, Major League Soccer officials, team owners, union tradesmen, Mummers, soccer fans, city residents, boosters - hundreds crowded into a huge, greenhouse-like tent for a loud, streamer-strewn celebration on the Delaware River waterfront. Festivities to cheer the arrival of Major League Soccer are getting to be a habit in Chester, this one coming nine months after a raucous party greeted the official announcement that Philadelphia would become the league's 16th team in 2010.

And it came amid a worldwide economic crisis that no one can ignore, not even the wealthy owners of sports teams.

"The economy is going to have an effect on everyone," league commissioner Don Garber said in an interview before the groundbreaking ceremony. "We're confident this project is not going to be impacted greatly."

The owner of the league's San Jose Earthquakes recently announced that the team would scale back plans for its new stadium. But Philadelphia team officials said yesterday that work on their stadium, which began some months ago, was proceeding on time and on budget, and that they expected that to continue.

The stadium will stand on the riverfront just south of the Commodore Barry Bridge, and be the anchor of a $500 million development that backers say will help revive downtrodden Chester. The stadium - to seat 18,634, expandable to 21,600 - is to support millions of dollars worth of entertainment, retail, residential and commercial development. The big question has been whether the sour housing and lending markets would force cutbacks in that ancillary development.

Developer Rob Buccini, a team co-owner and the cofounder of the Buccini/Pollin Group, said yesterday that the stadium project would be built as intended, except for changes in the percentage of housing units to be sold and rented. Asked if the plans for the ancillary development would be revised if the economy continued to falter, Buccini responded, "How much worse can things get?"

Government officials say they will honor their funding commitments to the stadium project. The state has promised $47 million, and Delaware County Council $30 million.

Buccini said the plans for retail and commercial development have continued to draw interest. And that the economic meltdown has produced one unexpected benefit: A lower cost for construction materials and labor.

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