Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Next up for Philly MLS: name the team

Several representatives from Philadelphia's MLS franchise, including CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, stopped by yesterday to say hello and talk about their timetable leading up to their first season in 2010.

Next up for Philly MLS: name the team

Several representatives from Philadelphia’s MLS franchise, including CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, stopped by yesterday to say hello and talk about their timetable leading up to their first season in 2010.

This is the team with no logo and no name but with a boisterous fan club called the Sons of Ben that numbers more than 3,000. Safe to say that no other team in any sport in this country has made provisions in its stadium plan for a section that will accommodate its fan club. That area will hold around 2,000 people. Construction should get under way soon on the approximately 18,500-seat stadium that will rise out of Chester’s waterfront.

Ahead for the franchise is the naming of their president and an announcement on their seat pricing later this fall; the coaching staff should be intact and introduced by next spring. Before all of that will be a contest to pick the team name, and you’ll be reading more about that in the next couple of weeks. The team plans to give fans three or four options for names, along with a chance to write in a suggestion. Fans will be able to log into the team site, and likely the site of the party that will partner with the franchise, and cast their vote. Sankiewicz noted that the winner in Seattle turned out to be the write-in pick. 

Look for the contest to last several weeks and the official announcement of the team name to come in November, after the election.

Paul Vigna
About this blog
Paul Vigna still has the seat he wrestled out of the concrete at Connie Mack Stadium parked in the finished basement, a 1980 Phillies championship mirror hanging above it. Now, why he’s kept an autograph of former Flyer Bruce Gamble on a sheet of Hockey Hall of Fame paper is another story. A native of Philly who grew up in Lansdale, he’s an assistant sports editor at the Daily News in charge of special projects who has written two columns related to sports and consumers: View From the Seats and Savvy Consumer.

ABOUT THIS BLOG:
Athletic contests were, for a long time, simply fun and games. Nowadays they’re just a small part of a sports entertainment industry that puts billions of dollars into play and a number of issues into motion. Moneyball indeed. You might be closer to the action than ever before, but that privilege comes at a price - and often it’s beyond what you can afford.

With that as the backdrop we’ll use this blog to dig out stories and swap advice about how the fan experience is changing and what it’s costing you now and in the future. Some of it will educate, some will let you vent. And in a sports panel format, it should allow for a consensus of opinion that can carry some weight.

Reach Paul at vignap@phillynews.com.

Paul Vigna
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