- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 12, 2011
- 2 Comments
- PPL Park, Stadium Talk
Before long we could see a larger PPL Park in Chester, PA. The Philadelphia Union have done well so far to keep the place packed in their first couple of games this season but could more seats be added here soon? It is possible.
The University of Villanova is trying to make the jump to the big league’s in college football and are potentially looking at PPL Park to host their home games. The catch is they’ll need to expand it to hold 30,000 seats. Currently it holds 18,500 seats.
For Villanova to be a BCS school, they need 15,000 in actual or paid attendance for all games in its home stadium. Currently their home stadium only seats 12,000 and doesn’t look like a candidate for expansion any time soon.
So that is where PPL Park comes in.
PPL Park has four possible sites where expansion could take place, raising the capacity from 20,000 to a little more than 30,000, according to Sakiewicz. The addition of an upper deck on the south end, or “River End,” section would add about 2,000 seats. Additionally, the concourse level on both the east and west portions of the stadium and the east suites, or “Founding Members” section, can accommodate more seats.
The bigger concern will come down to maintenance on the field. Never mind the ugliness that is football lines on a MLS pitch, but the possibility that the natural grass will be beaten up a good bit during the fall while both MLS and college football are going on.
A big test for this will be coming up this summer when PPL Park hosts the collegiate rugby championships on June 4-5.
I think for the most part adding some extra seats to this stadium will have to happen eventually. I could see Philly as one of those clubs that have a stadium of this size that will need a few extra thousand seats from time to time. Plus, it could mean they’ll be able to host better international matches there. From a MLS side of things, I do wonder if they’d be able to fill 30,000 seats on a fairly regular basis for league matches.
What do you think of PPL Park expanding to 30k seats to make way possibly for a college football team to move in with them? Do you think the Union can handle a stadium that size?