Philadelphia wants one of the two MLS franchises up for grabs for the 2010 season. The only problem, aside from the cost to taxpayers, is that the proposed new stadium isn't in the most desirable of neighborhoods. Chester, Pa., a good 30-minute drive from downtown Philadelphia, "is conceivably the poorest, most crime-riddled and poverty-stricken city in the state," claims the Philadelphia Bulletin. That said, some of the other MLS franchises play in less-desirable city suburbs, but surely none of those could claim to be the worst in their state.
The other major hurdle is financing, which is yet to be approved by state officials. A new stadium would cost taxpayers $125 million up front, along with $30 million from the cut county and city governments get from local gambling revenue. The latter portion is particularly important, but Chester and its county government have yet to finalize their commitment to the project. The proposed stadium would hold 20,000 fans and could be ready in time for the 2010 season if Philadelphia receives the franchise, which could be announced as early as next month's MLS Cup final.