Philly's new MLS team unveils name, logo

May 11, 2009 5:14:58 PM PDT
Drawing heavily on Philadelphia's rich colonial history, Major League Soccer's newest club chose Philadelphia Union as its name and a logo that would have made Ben Franklin proud. Team officials announced the 16th MLS franchise's logo and colors before a crowd of cheering supporters at City Hall on Monday.

"Soccer is about passion and I think our name, colors and logo will bring out the most passionate fans in all of Major League Soccer," said Union president Tom Veit.

The team's logo is a vintage gold rattlesnake on a field of blue that was inspired by the "Join, or Die" political cartoons created by Franklin during the 1750s that advocated colonial unity against England. Thirteen stars surround the logo.

Philadelphia Union will open play in March 2010 at an 18,500-seat seat stadium currently under construction along the Delaware River in nearby Chester.

Officials hope the stadium - part of a $500 million entertainment, retail, residential and commercial development covering more than 100 acres - will be a boon to the beleaguered Chester waterfront.

"This was part of a 14-year quest to bring an MLS club to the Philadelphia area," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "Once they got the stadium deal done, it was just a matter of time. This sports market will increase with the addition of the Union. I'm thrilled for everyone in this market."

The club's next major move will be to hire a coaching staff. But before that happens, the team executives wanted to revel in Monday's announcement.

"What a special day for all the soccer fans around here," said Union owner Jay Sugarman. Our fans are so passionate and they understand how much hard work went into making this happen. They're loyal and an inspiration to us."

The team also announced ticket prices Monday.

Season-ticket packages start at $275 and go up to $575 for sideline seats and $700 for midfield seats. Club seats go for $1,100 and include parking and food and beverage service.

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