Thursday, March 31, 2011

Football: Union Exec Not Giving Hints Regarding PPL Park

In an article featured in today's edition of the Delco Times, Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz was tight lipped about Villanova and PPL Park.  He seemed decidedly neutral as to the uses of the Chester stadium by Villanova and other organizations.

Here's what Sakiewicz said (after the jump):

For now, according to Sakiewicz, PPL Park is only for football. That’s, um, futbol — not the one with quarterbacks.

Asked for an update on talks between the Union and Villanova University, which had expressed an interest in using the Chester stadium as a home for its football team, Sakiewicz said Wednesday there was no progress to report.

“We have had conversations with them, but I’m not prepared to give a progress update. No decision has been made,” Sakiewicz said. “We’ve said it from the very beginning — this building is, first and foremost, a Philadelphia Union building. The seats in this building won’t change color. But in the modern day of running stadiums, you have to look to do other events.”

PPL Park will host the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby championship in June and the NCAA men’s lacrosse quarterfinals in 2012.

Sakiewicz said deals to host other college events as well as musical acts could be forthcoming.

And as for Villanova, well, it’s not so simple.

The Wildcats’ season coincides with the conclusion of the Union’s. So maintaining the turf’s quality and affixing the schedules accordingly remain the biggest obstacles.

“American football is something we can play in this building and, if the right opportunity comes along to do that, we will,” Sakiewicz said.

A few thoughts of my own:
  1. I hate snobby douchebags from America who refer to soccer as "football". 
  2. Rugby is probably just as damaging, if not more damaging to grass as Football is.
  3. Lincoln Financial Field doesn't seem to have too much of a problem with its "pitch" despite the fact that it hosts two football teams with concurrent seasons as well as the Army-Navy game every other year or so.
  4. Sakiewicz is an unfortunate last name..  Although I'm sure that Nick is happy that his parents didn't name him Harry Sakiewicz.
  5. The MLS still doesn't seem like real soccer to me.. I don't know why.


  1. Just a note that really doesn't matter, but Rugby is not nearly as damaging to a field as football. The big problem with football is it tears up the middle of the field because of the way football continuously resets and lines up on the hashmarks. Rugby uses the whole field. Also, the tournament that PPL is hosting is a 7's tournament, which is a smaller, faster version of rugby (this is the version that will be featured in the Olympics). With only 7 players from each team on the field and 7 minute halves, there won't be much of an opportunity to tear up the field.

    In any event, Nicky Sakz better sack up and let us play there.

  2. 1) Every country in the world except us and Australia refer to it as some form of "Football". Get over yourself.
    2) See "Blue Man" comments above. AlsoRugby has fewer lines painted on the field.
    3) You're right, the Linc doesn't have a problem - for a game in which the ball doesn't travel along the surface. During NFL season the Linc is in poor soccer condition.
    4) Yeah. No real argument there. :)
    5) I hate snobby douchebags from America who refer to MLS as "not real soccer".

  3. I loved your thoughts at the end. As one of those "snobby douchebags," I can't stand those who will say and do anything in their attempt to make soccer go away. Just remember, you are negotiating to try to come to our house, not the other way around. As long as you make it worth our while, and don't screw up our house, we might be able to come to an agreement. If Pitt, the Big East, or the NCAA decides that even with expansions that would kill the scarecity of tickets and drive resale prices thru the floor, PPL Park isn't a suitable venue for Nova to jump to FBS, don't blame us.

    Come on the U!

  4. i love soccer. i watch soccer all the time, and i know more about the sport than probably 99 percent of the american population. the fact is that calling it "soccer" is much easier for the sake of convenience because it's not like football is some fringe sport or anything.

    i just want to make it absolutely clear that i have no issue with the union and that financially, Villanova would be a plus for the team. if people go to a Villanova game at PPL and find that it's a nice place to see a game, what better promotion for the union/the sport of soccer is that?

    i think that Villanova and the union could mutually beneficial relationship, and i apologize if you've been rubbed the wrong way by Villanova people, but it seems that all the sons of ben/jonathan tannenwald have done nothing but bitch since this was announced as a possibility.

    and lastly, until the mls gets world class players who are in their prime (rather than declining former superstars) and becomes a viable alternative league to leagues in europe, it will never be anything more than a niche thing.

  5. The MLS needs to realize that, at best, it will only become a feeder league to the larger European leagues and get over itself. The MLS will never be as good as the EPL, La Liga, the Budesliga etc.

  6. Best case scenario for MLS is to become THE dominant league in the Western Hemisphere. As in, kids from Mexico, Argentina, Chile, shit maybe even Brazil grow up with the "dream" of starting their professional careers in MLS. Of course this still leaves it as a feeder system/retirement plan for the Big 4 UEFA leagues, but unless the USSF decides to completely fuck themselves and join UEFA (which, by extension would allow MLS to fall under that umbrella and "compete" for Champions League spots), Dodge is correct. And I HATE it when Dodge is correct.