PHILADELPHIA -- Gov. Ed Rendell supports a $150 million proposal to bring a Major League Soccer franchise and stadium to the city of Chester.
"We're very supportive of the concept," Rendell said after a news conference at Philadelphia School District headquarters Tuesday. "I think you could transform the city of Chester."
A group of investors, led by outgoing Philadelphia School Reform Commission Chairman James Nevels, is trying to land a MLS franchise and build a $100 million stadium on the waterfront in Chester, a city just outside Philadelphia that is one of the region's poorest.
Earlier this month, Rendell met with MLS commissioner Donald P. Garber, Nevels and others to discuss the project.
The league hopes to announce two new expansion teams, and Philadelphia is "most certainly" in the running, according to MLS vice president Dan Courtemanche. The investor group hopes to open the stadium and start the franchise in 2009 or 2010.
Charlie Kopp, a lawyer representing the investors, declined to say how much money they would be requesting from the state. The $150 million cost includes the establishment of the franchise and the construction of the stadium.