HARRISBURG, PA (WHTM) – Eric Pettis, owner of the City Islanders, announced that the team will be moving to a new venue for the 2016 season. The club will now call Metro Bank Park their new home for 10 matches of the 2016 United Soccer League (USL) season.
Pettis made the announcement with the support of Mayor Papenfuse, Susquehanna Capital Corp., Harrisburg Senators’ President Kevin Kulp, and City Islanders’ and Harrisburg Senators’ front office staff.
“It took all of the resources of Harrisburg to keep us here,” said Pettis. “We have taken a significant risk to keep pace with the growth of the league and remain a valuable asset to the USL.”
The Islanders recently announced Susquehanna Capital Corp. as the newest investors in the franchise. With the addition, the City Islanders are now controlled by majority owner Eric Pettis (Harrisburg), Bryan Gobin (Carlisle), Chuck Fox (Elizabethtown), and Brian Bolinger, treasurer of Susquehanna Capital Corp.
The newest investment by Susquehanna Capital Corp. has allowed the Islanders organization the ability to enhance operations on and off the field, increase their front office staff, as well as allow for improvements in the overall fan experience by relocating to Metro Bank Park.RELATED: Islanders Announce New Investors for 2016 Season
Skyline Sports has been home to the City Islanders since the team’s inception in 2004. The location of the field, which overlooks downtown Harrisburg along the Susquehanna River, is pristine. However, the stadium was unacceptable by league standards and quickly became regarded as one of the worst in the USL.
“Playing our matches in Metro Bank Park will allow us to provide a whole new game day experience for our fans, staff, players and opponents,” added Pettis.
Islanders fans will now have the ability to experience preferred, reserved, club house and suite seating. They will also have new food and beverage choices, vastly improved full service amenities and an expanded “Tiki’s Cove”.
Operationally, Metro Bank Park will be transformed a total of five times during the 2016 season. Sod will be laid every two matches with the help of the Harrisburg Senators grounds crew, in order to convert the baseball field into a regulation soccer pitch.
The City Islanders would like to thank Mayor Papenfuse, Dauphin County Commissioners, Susquehanna Capital Corp. and the Harrisburg Senators for making this transition a reality. The ownership and staff of the club are thrilled to bring a new sporting event of this level to Metro Bank Park and hope that not only the soccer community, but also the business community of Harrisburg will step up to provide the support a Second Division soccer franchise should have when competing against the largest markets in the United States and Canada.
The City Islanders official 2016 home opener will take place Friday, April 22 against Louisville City FC at Metro Bank Park. Single game and season tickets for the 2016 Season will be available for purchase by Monday, February 15. Details to come.