There's a ton of coverage of PPL Park's opening in today's Inquirer and Daily News. I've put together a rundown of all of the staff stories below. You'll also find an advertising supplement in the Inquirer.
Before we get to that, though, it's time to answer one big question about the stadium: how will everyone get there and get out afterwards?
The parking situation is complex. There are a total of six lots, some near the stadium and some off-site with shuttle buses. A complete rundown of who should park where is at the bottom of the page here.
On that page you'll also see the public transportation plan. The team will run schedules from the Chester Transportation Center on SEPTA's R2 regional rail line starting four hours before the match.
Here is a schedule of R2 departures from Suburban Station that arrive at Chester within the pregame window:
Dep. Suburban Station 12:34 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 1:04 p.m.
Dep. Suburban Station 1:34 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 2:04 p.m.
Dep. Suburban Station 2:34 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 3:04 p.m.
Dep. Suburban Station 3:34 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 4:04 p.m.
Those trains depart Market East and 30th Street Station at 29 and 38 minutes past the hour, respectively.
Here is a schedule of northbound trains frim Marcus Hook. The R2 does not go any farther south than that on weekends:
Dep. Marcus Hook 12:48 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 12:54 p.m.
Dep. Marcus Hook 1:47 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 1:53 p.m.
Dep. Marcus Hook 2:47 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 2:53 p.m.
Dep. Marcus Hook 3:47 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 3:54 p.m.
Dep. Marcus Hook 4:48 p.m., Arr. Chester TC 4:54 p.m.
The public transportation guide mentions that there will be shuttle service after the game, but does not mention how long after the game shuttles will run. I asked the Union for a clarification on this and was told:
No specific amount of time after games. We'll run them until everyone is gone and make an announcement when it looks like we have everyone.
That's good news. It certainly seems like the team will be able to avoid the problem the Chicago Fire have at Toyota Park, where the shuttle bus to Midway runs 20 minutes after the game and you're screwed if you miss it.
The first R2 departure from Chester to Center City after the game is at 7:53 p.m., followed by 8:54 p.m. The first departure to Marcus Hook is at 7:04 p.m., which is probably too early, followed by 8:03 p.m. After that, the next train is at 9:04 p.m., and that's the last train of the day.
Hopefully that information will help you plan your journey to the stadium. I would very much add my voice to the chorus of people saying to get there early.
In case you haven't seen all the Union coverage in today's papers, here's a rundown...
MLS should cash in on World Cup popularity by Kerith Gabriel
Philadelphia Union's PPL Park set for debut by Jeff Gammage
Advice to Union fans headed to Chester Sunday: Come early by Jeff Gammage
Setting the Stage for Soccer, an interactive graphic about PPL Park by the Inquirer's graphics department
And the big story in today's Daily News, Can Chester be kick-started? by William Bender. I saved that one for last because of a quote I want all of you to remember. It's something that I don't have the time to write about now, but will after the World Cup ends, because it matters a lot.
Retired carpenter Gus Daniels, 61, couldn't care less about soccer.
"It must be outside people coming in, because we don't have nothing to do with soccer," Daniels said. "Black people don't play soccer. This is a basketball town."
That's a pretty serious statement. We will discuss it soon.