Just this past weekend I was thinking to myself "things are awful quiet in Philadelphia." One year out from the franchise's debut and the silence hasn't quite been deafening, but when compared with all of the noise Seattle has made over the last 12 months is doesn't seem to have as much excitement surrounding it. You also haven't heard too much about construction progress out of Chester (or at least I haven't) since the groundbreaking.
You have heard --or most-likely read-- rumors of financial issues affecting the project. You'll read about that and FC Barcelona's on-the-down-low visit to the Chester construction site in this week's Sports Business Journal; the publication is focusing on MLS this week and they'll have a slew of related content so I'd highly recommend that you sign up for the free trial subscription today.
A few bullet points form the article:
- "FC Barcelona is exploring an investment in MLS’s Philadelphia expansion franchise, which has been seeking new capital for months in an effort to further strengthen an ownership group fronted by iStar Financial CEO Jay Sugarman."
- "Joan LaPorta, president of FC Barcelona, visited Philadelphia on Feb. 28 and toured the site of the franchise’s future stadium being constructed in Chester, Pa. The tour took place days before FC Barcelona announced it wouldn’t pursue an expansion franchise in Miami."
The financial freak show has cost Sugarman more than $38 million since February 2008.