CHESTER, PA - JUNE 27: A general view of PPL Park is seen as the Philadelphia Union play the Seattle Sounders FC at the PPL Park stadium opener on June 27, 2010 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
PPL Park could soon show itself off to the North American soccer community, as the Philadelphia Union's game day home is one of two finalists for the 2012 MLS All Star Game. A league source informs the Brotherly Game that PPL Park and Sporting Kansas City's Livestrong Park are the last of a group of stadiums, which included the Vancouver Whitecaps' BC Place and the Montreal Impact's Saputo Stadium, but "nothing [is] firm" yet.
A report by Broad Street Hooligans, a Philadelphia Union and American soccer blog, reported two days ago that it had "overheard" a text message involving the Union receiving the winning bid for the right to host the All Star Game this year. In addition, BSH named August 1 as the date of game. which the Brotherly Game's source says "sounds about right." Kerith Gabriel, of the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, contacted Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz and was told that the Union had yet to receive word from the league about PPL Park and the All Star Game.
"I've spoken with the commissioner, but there has been no official announcement from the league to our organization that we won hosting rights," Sakiewicz said to Gabriel.
Since opening during the 2010 MLS regular season, PPL Park has played host to teams such as Chivas de Guadalajara, Celtic and Everton, showing off its ability to host international friendlies without a problem. However, for both of the Union's friendlies against European giants Real Madrid and Manchester United, Lincoln Financial Field, which is the home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, was utilized to handle the larger crowds for the games.
Last year the New York Red Bulls hosted the 2011 MLS All Star Game, with United as the opponent to the league's team of top players. MLS Commissioner Don Garber has been adament about spotlighting the league's team owned soccer specific stadiums now and in the future for All Star Games, meaning that PPL Park would be the Philadelphia location, not Lincoln Financial Field.