'Clean and Green' PPL Park set to open doo

Behind the dais where Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz initially spoke was a clear view of the entire stadium.

And what a view it was.

It gave those attending Wednesday’s press conference detailing an 11-year naming rights partnership with PPL EnergyPlus a glimpse of the future.

On June 27, the first-ever Major League Soccer game will be played at what is now known as PPL Park.

“PPL was aggressive with us from the start and we liked everything about them,” Sakiewicz said. “From the start we liked how their sales and marketing team worked with us through the whole process. They ‘got it’. They’re a driven company with goals that we share. We think this deal is tremendous on so many levels.”

The soccer-specific stadium will also play host a variety of additional events, including concerts, festivals and other sporting events.

PPL EnergyPlus will become Philadelphia Union’s exclusive energy provider. Philadelphia Union will utilize energy at PPL Park supplied by PPL EnergyPlus, which will purchase and retire renewable energy credits equal to 100 percent of the park’s electricity use from renewable energy projects in Pennsylvania owned or contracted by PPL EnergyPlus.

“Putting together a deal like this is great for so many reasons, including helping the environment and being energy conscious,” Sakiewicz said.

With electricity rate caps expiring in the Greater Philadelphia Region on December 31, businesses now have the opportunity to choose their electricity and natural gas suppliers. For the first time in 10 years, PPL EnergyPlus is able to aggressively compete for business in Southeastern Pennsylvania. PPL EnergyPlus also can bring to these same customers renewable energy options, energy efficiency improvements and demand response programs.

“We think we have great synergy with this naming-rights deal,” said Gene Alessandrini, Senior Vice President of Marketing for PPL EnergyPlus. “We both have enthusiastic people working for us and we are both committed to excellence. PPL EnergyPlus and Philadelphia Union are both bringing new opportunities to the Chester area and beyond.”

Speaking of the Chester area, it was hard to miss the smile firmly planted on the face of Chester Mayor Wendell Butler Jr.

Wearing a Philadelphia Union hard-hat, Mayor Butler talked about his elation for the city he was born and raised in.

“I remember when the only way to get across the Commodore Barry Bridge was by ferry,” Butler said. “This is a whole different era now. It’s wonderful for the city of Chester for the job it will provide and how it puts Chester in a positive light. I have been so happy since the beginning when this team was announced. It is going to bring so many good things to the City of Chester.”

Don’t look now, but Philadelphia Union’s First Kick is sneaking up on March 25 at Qwest Field against Seattle Sounders FC. The home opener is April 10 against D.C. United at Lincoln Financial Field.

After one more home game at the Linc, the club will make its anticipated debut at PPL Park on June 27 against Seattle.

What a day that will be.

“The hard work over the last four or five years will be completely worth it,” Sakiewicz said. “I can’t wait to watch soccer. That will be the fun part.”

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