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MLS chief Garber impressed by Philadelphia Union impact

MLS Commissioner Don Garber admitted he was impressed that the Philadelphia Union have made such a positive impact in such a short time.

The newest MLS franchise are experiencing good ticket sales for their new stadium, PPL Park, and Garber was astounded that in times of such economic uncertainty that the Union had attracted such good support already.

"With a recession, who thought they would have a naming-rights deal and pull together some of their commercial partnerships?" Garber said. "What Philadelphia has done is a good story - not just for MLS, but for sports in general." "Major League Soccer wanted a club in Philadelphia since it started, and it has taken 15 years to be able to get to this point," he added. "They have an ownership group and management that is very focused, and they understand the business and have a lot of experience.

Garber said he was not surprised that the Union had attracted so much attention early in the club's life and expected the traction to continue.

"Philadelphia is the fourth-largest market in the country, and we weren't in that market, and it's hard when you can't have those people connect with a club to drive TV ratings and add excitement," Garber added.

"Philadelphia is a sports market, and people love their teams in that community, and it's also a soccer market," Garber said. "It is one of the birthplaces of the sport in our country, and when you connect the dots with all those things, we think that it will lead to success."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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