Thursday, January 17, 2008

Philadelphia: $50 million from state for soccer

Nearly a year ago, Gov. Rendell wrote to a leader of the group that's trying to bring pro soccer to the Philadelphia region and outlined how he would provide more than $50 million to help build a stadium.

The "funding commitment letter" to James Nevels, one of the investors seeking an expansion team from Major League Soccer, is dated Feb. 27, 2007. It describes the various grants and low-interest loans that could be obtained from nine government sources.

So far, the letter has not been enough to persuade Major League Soccer to grant a team to the region. League officials say they've made no decision on which city will host the 16th team. St. Louis is believed to be favored over Philadelphia, with other cities interested.

The soccer document was among 18 similar letters released by the Governor's Office after a request by the Capitolwire news service. The governor sent the letters to companies and organizations, saying he would seek funding for their projects, conditional on action by the legislature or other state agencies.

Rendell has previously stated his support for building a $115 million stadium on the Chester waterfront. The local investors continue to talk with legislative leaders about securing aid from the state, which they say would be the final piece of funding.

No comments: