Philadelphia Union agrees to play exhibition matches in Jacksonville
Major League Soccer will be coming to EverBank Field for at least the next three years as Mayor Alvin Brown announced an agreement with Philadelphia Union to host an annual exhibition match each February.
On Feb. 15, 2013, the Union will face another MLS team, to be announced in the near future, starting at 7:30 p.m. There will be a free youth clinic at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena box office and online at Ticketmaster.com.
“Jacksonville has shown a strong interest in soccer. Just ask the 45,000 fans who broke a Southeast attendance record last May for the US Men’s National Team match at EverBank Field,” said Mayor Brown. “The city’s partnership with Philadelphia Union poses an incredible opportunity to expand our portfolio of events and create an unforgettable experience that enlivens our Downtown and strengthens our heartbeat as a city.”
One of the younger franchises in the MLS, Philadelphia was awarded Major League Soccer's 16th team on February 28th, 2008. The combination of extensive grassroots support spearheaded by the Sons of Ben and a public-private partnership between Philadelphia Union, the State of Pennsylvania, Delaware County and the City of Chester enabled the construction of a state-of-the-art soccer stadium and convinced MLS officials that the Philadelphia region deserved a soccer team.
“We are excited to play in front of the people of Jacksonville and look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with the city of Jacksonville and its fans,” said Nick Sakiewicz, CEO & Operating Partner of Philadelphia Union.
Jacksonville’s own Sea Best Seafood will be the presenting sponsor of the event for all three years.
“Sea Best Seafood is proud to help bring this event to Jacksonville,” said Mark Frisch, Sea Best Seafood Executive Vice President. “Jacksonville has shown that it supports soccer and we look forward to this becoming a long-term partnership with Major League Soccer. I encourage all of my fellow business leaders to support this event and continue to support soccer in our city."