Today Harrisburg City Islanders announced that they have received a $25,000 grant from the Dauphin County Commissioners to study the economic and community impact of a new stadium facility on City Island. The Islanders have played at the Skyline Sports complex on City Island for the past decade. The team has made it to the playoffs seven out of nine years and just recently announced that they should be in the 2013 playoffs in the USL PRO league.
“The players and the fans absolutely love our home field location here on City Island,” noted Islanders President Eric Pettis, “but it’s important for us to plan for the future and lay out a strategy for building a newer and more modern facility that meets the standards of the USL Pro Soccer League. We believe this study will help document the economic and community benefits and impact that a new City Island facility will provide to soccer fans, local businesses, and community youth athletic programs all across the City and the region,” added Pettis.
The study will be conducted over the next four months and will be managed by the Harrisburg Realty Improvements Corporation (HRIC), an affiliate of the Harristown Development Corporation—a non-profit economic development firm with nearly four decades of experience in city-based project development, management, planning, and implementation. Harristown has been involved in the development and construction of over $500 million worth of real estate projects since its inception in 1974 including Strawberry Square, 333 Market Street, the Hilton Harrisburg, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Messiah College’s Harrisburg Institute, and, International House Harrisburg.
The USL Pro League, in which the City Islanders play, is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below the MLS, both on and off the field. In 2013, USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with the MLS that will enhance the development of the players and strengthen the competition in both leagues, and establish a solid foundation for future collaboration. USL PRO features 13 teams participating in the 2013 season including new expansion teams in Phoenix and Tampa.
The Harrisburg City Islanders celebrate the 10th Anniversary in Central PA as professional soccer team in the USL PRO League with an overall record of 110-76-53. Highlights throughout the years include: 2011 National League Champions, 2011 USL PRO Championship Finalist, 2007 USL-2 League Champions, in 2012 defeated two Major League Soccer (MLS) teams, NY Red Bulls and New England Revolution in the 2012 US Open Cup. In 2009 The Islanders played Crystal Palace London at Clipper Magazine Stadium in front of 7,000 fans. The team has made it to the playoffs seven out of nine years. The Harrisburg City Islanders are exclusive USL PRO affiliate partners of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) since 2010. In 2013 the clubs expanded their partnership, which included the inclusion of Union players on the Islanders roster to further player development. The Union no longer fields a Reserve League team, instead incorporating reserve players into the City Islanders to help the team compete for a USL Championship.
Harrisburg City Islanders next home game is Wednesday, August 7th at 7:00 PM at the Skyline Sports Complex vs. the Charlotte Eagles. For more information go to www.cityislanders.com .