WSFS gets new Union sportsplex naming rights
CHESTER, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union professional soccer team announced Tuesday that it will build a new more than $55 million sports and recreation complex in partnership with WSFS Bank.
The WSFS Bank Sportsplex will feature 170,000 square feet of indoor facilities and 32 acres of athletic fields built between the team’s Subaru Park home stadium and the Union Power Plant office building.
The project is a major commitment by the Union, which draws tens of thousands of the riverfront stadium as one of the best teams in Major League Soccer, and will make an estimated $90 million economic impact to the historically economically depressed area. The new complex will allow the Union to move its youth academy programs under one roof on the same campus as its professional team.
The project will also be Wilmington-based WSFS Bank’s most significant marketing move as it more aggressively expands into the greater Philadelphia market. In August, it signed a multi-year partnership agreement with the team that included naming rights for the new facility.
“The positive economic impact to Chester, a place where players can collaborate and prosper from the values of sports and a beautiful place where the community can host fun, safe events are just a few of the reasons we wanted to join the Union in bringing the WSFS Bank Sportsplex to Chester,” said Rodger Levenson, chairman, president and CEO of WSFS, in a statement. “We are proud of the legacy we are building together for the community and the region.”
The ties that bind the Union and WSFS together also have a decidedly Delaware base, as prolific Wilmington developers Chris Buccini, Rob Buccini and Dave Pollin of Buccini/Pollin Group are minority owners of the Philadelphia Union. BPG’s construction firm also built WSFS’ current headquarters in downtown Wilmington.
In signing the partnership deal, WSFS and the Union agreed to work on gameday events, fan engagement opportunities and community programs that will be announced later. The bank will also sponsor a variety of upcoming events, including a back-to-school backpack giveaway in Chester, a Juneteenth celebration next year, community ticket donations and National Women’s Month activities. In conjunction with the Sportsplex naming rights, it will also donate 365 hours of field and facility usage to community organizations.
Groundbreaking on the WSFS Sportsplex is set to take place this winter, with the outdoor fields in place by August 2023 and the indoor facilities to open June 2024. The complex will include a 100,000-square-foot indoor facility that will be available for community use and an adjacent 70,000-square-foot support building that will house Philadelphia Union II (MLS NEXT Pro) as well as the Philadelphia Union Academy. The indoor facility will be complemented by seven outdoor multi-sport fields including one championship grass field with spectator seating, two additional full-size grass fields, one youth-size grass field, and three full-size turf fields.
“The announcement of WSFS Bank Sportsplex is the beginning of an important next chapter for the Philadelphia Union and the growth and development of the Chester Waterfront,” Philadelphia Union President Tim McDermott said in a statement. “The heart of this project is our commitment to community and our desire to be an agent for positive change. We are proud to do this alongside a like-minded organization in WSFS Bank and look forward to enriching the lives of young aspiring athletes in the Philadelphia area.”