By David Madden
CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – As the Philadelphia Union builds its fan base, the Major League Soccer club has had a bit of a shaky relationship with the city of Chester where they play their home games at PPL Park. And it’s all about money.
The club has made $500,000 payments in lieu of taxes to Chester for the last two seasons. But a $500,000 bill from 2010 is still outstanding. Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz says that dispute stems from issues that surfaced before the team ever took to the field.
“During the construction period, we performed things like snow removal and relocation of certain structures and a number of things that the city was responsible for doing.”
An $8-million cost he says he’s never asked Chester to reimburse, but he wants to work out a payment schedule for the tax bill.
Talk of new parking taxes has prompted the club to put future construction plans on indefinite hold.
“We’re not in a position to build anything until we understand what the tax environment looks like here long-term.”
Repeated attempts to discuss the situation with Chester City officials have been unsuccessful.