Philly MLS stadium to be named for electric company

The home of the new Philadelphia Union MLS team starting play in 2011 this spring will be named for Pennsylvania Power and Light, in a deal worth a reported $20 million over 10 years. If you’re wondering why an electric utility needs to buy a giant billboard, it probably has something to do with the fact that Pennsylvania just deregulated its electricity markets starting January 1. Now, on top of 30% rate hikes, PPL customers get to help foot the bill for their electricity company’s soccer-stadium ad campaign to convince people that name recognition is more important than those 30% rate hikes.

Of course, the Pennsylvania legislators who voted for electricity deregulation couldn’t have seen this coming, because it’s not like anything like this has ever happened before.


6 comments on “Philly MLS stadium to be named for electric company

  1. Thanks, just corrected it. I actually knew this somewhere in my brain, but got thrown by one article today that referred to the team as the Independence. (Probably the same one that referred to PPL as “Philadelphia Power and Light.”)

  2. California, Alberta, you name it. Pretty much everywhere electrical system deregulation has been implemented, the costs go up dramatically (rather than drop, as is always the promise). The fact is, some industries have such massive barriers to entry that the free market actually works far less efficiently than regulated monopoly. Sports leagues intuitively understand this, hence the lack of free market rule in franchise sales and location.

    We deregulated our power system in 1996 to lower generating costs from $0.07/kw to $0.04 (which we were told was vital to our economic future).

    Present cost? About $0.12 for the power, and another $0.15 for delivery. Oh, and a number of people who own nothing but Lexus’ and fast laptops became incredibly wealthy. So the economic benefits seem mainly to have been confined to high end car dealer networks and political party coffers.

    Good job, boys.

    Sounds like the good folks in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (who have graciously spent nearly $2Bn on sports stadia and then effectively donated them to “their” teams in the past decade) are going to be experiencing the same thing.

    But hey, what’s a couple billion between friends, right?

  3. Hate to nitpick, but the Union start play this year, in just a couple of months. The stadium is schedule to open sometime in the summer.

  4. Graaah. Okay, clearly I need to start paying more attention to the MLS franchise lineup. Fortunately, my six-year-old son has become obsessed with pro soccer since getting a FIFA game for his Wii, so maybe I can outsource this to him…

  5. I know that redBull put up the $$ to pay for the stadium. I was just wondering how much $$ the city and state will have paid as part of the deal, not including surrounding development.

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