When last we left the Philadelphia Union, the MLS team’s owners had gotten $77 million in state, county, and city money to help build a $122 million stadium in the city of Chester, and then the local economic benefits inexplicably failed to show up, and the mayor of Chester threatened to start levying city parking taxes to make up for the city’s losses on operating the building. Now, almost two years later, team CEO Nick Sakiewicz is griping that the city has inflicted an “unfriendly business environment” on it by imposing new taxes and allowing independent parking lots that have cut into the team’s parking take, and if the city doesn’t start acting more chummy, he might not build all the additional development the team had promised near the stadium:
“The talk about a hotel down there, the talk about retail, the talk about other programming around the stadium, there is no talk about that because the environment that this city administration has put in place has made it such that there are so many other opportunities in South Jersey and Wilmington and other parts of Pennsylvania where building those projects is a lot less complicated.”
I’m pretty sure this is a new twist on the old move threat: Build us a new stadium, and then don’t tax us or allow anyone to compete with us, or else we’ll move our hotel to Delaware. Oh, like the Adorable Autarch wouldn’t charge parking taxes.