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City Islanders take big step toward new stadium

Harrisburg asking the Commonwealth for a nicer Island

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, the Harrisburg City Islanders moved one step closer to a new stadium. Harrisburg Capital of Soccer, Inc., the team's parent company, applied for a grant that will help fund a new, multi-use stadium on City Island. The grant, which is funded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, is worth $5 million dollars. If all goes well, the $13.9-million stadium will be completed in May of 2017.

"This is an enormous opportunity for the people of the greater Harrisburg area," said Islanders CFO Eric Pettis. "It will change the city in a dramatic way forever. It's imperative that we show the county and state the support behind the Harrisburg City Islanders and the multi-use stadium which will benefit the entire community. we believe public support will make a difference."

For the past 11 years, the City of Harrisburg has leased the Skyline Sports Complex to the the Philadelphia Union's USL affiliate. The stadium can fit 2,400 spectators, but it only has seats for 2,000 of them. Additionally, the facility lacks basic amenities such as restrooms, built-in locker rooms, or even running water. The new 5,000-seat stadium will contain a variety of seating options, from bleachers to VIP boxes. In-stadium locker rooms, restrooms, and concession stands will also be constructed. The stadium will be situated on the Susquehanna River, taking the place of Skyline, whose sole bright spot is the view of the Harrisburg skyline.

The city of Harrisburg plans to use the stadium to host PIAA soccer matches as well as other youth soccer tournaments, clinics and camps. The City Islanders are asking fans to sign a petition to make this stadium a reality.

If a new stadium is not built, the team will likely be moved to a different market.