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In pictures: Watch party at Subaru Park

All photos: Marjorie Elzey

The Philadelphia Union held a watch party for the opening game of the MLS is Back Tournament. This event was for invited season ticket holders who RSVPed and agreed to social distancing and mask regulations. My family holds season tickets and I decided to take my three sons to the stadium to watch the game and to help them adjust to our new normal since quarantine began in March.

Safety was the first priority of the Union staff from the first email all the way through exiting the stadium.ย  When we arrived at the stadium, we were asked to leave at least six feet between our car and other cars in the lot. Once we parked, we walked to the stadium and found yellow spots, spaced out six feet part, on the sidewalk leading to the entrance for us to use. Our temperatures were checked before we got the gate, once we were cleared, we checked-in at the registration table and finally we were back inside our beloved stadium.

A breakfast snack was available for us to take to our seats to enjoy. We were asked if we wanted to sit on the field or in the stadium seats. We did not bring chairs, so we decided on seats (and the shade).ย  The entrances to the stadium seats were marked with “Entrance” or “Exit” to limit the risk of people passing each other going to and from the seating areas. Once on the seating platforms, the available rows for us to choose from were marked with balloons. Everyone sat one party per marked row, with many rows still available at kick-off. Hand sanitizer was available to use throughout the park and everyone was wearing a mask. We choose to sit in section 127 and had a nice view of the field, the (new) BIG screen, and the Sons of Ben. One of the best parts was hearing Kevin Casey’s voice in the stadium again, announcing the starting line-up and celebrating the Union’s goal in traditional fashion, with the DOOP song “Maria, I like it loud!” The fans were on their feet, scarves swinging while smoke bombs filled the air below the jumbotron.

It was a great way to kickoff the tournament and to feel like a part of the Union community again.

 

Fans sit, social distanced on the field, waiting for the game to start. The Union did a great job with marking all the areas that were for fans. Balloons marked the rows in the stands.

 

A few members of the Sons of Ben were ready to get the fans pumped up for the game.

 

What would a Union watch party be with Phang?!

 

The Union took great care in planning the event for the fans. As you can see here, areas were marked off for seating, they are much more than six feet apart and members of the Union staff were their to escort you to your space and off the field.

 

“Wear your mask” a reminder for all during the halftime portion of the game. A true sign of the pandemic that we are all experiencing.

 

The first “DOOP” in Subaru Park! Captain Alejandro Bedoya scored against NYC FC during the “MLS is Back” Tournament in Orlando, Florida.

 

The closest fans to us, celebrating Alejandro Bedoya’s goal.

 

A few season ticket members were invited to watch the first game of the “MLS is Back” Tournament. Here they celebrate the first goal scored by Captain, Alejandro Bedoya.

 

 

UNION WIN! Yes, we would have loved to have been able to celebrate with the team, and a full stadium, but we are all happy to have been able to be back in Chester cheering on our team.

8 Comments

  1. OneManWolfpack says:

    Really wish I could have made this. Maybe do another one? Thanks for keeping my section (127) warm for me… til I get back ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    They used similar measures when they had the team sendoff a little over a week ago…cars 6 feet apart…specific areas to stand that had 10 feet between groups…insisting on masks (although since it was only about 15-20 minutes, they didn’t take temperatures).

    Unfortunately, my wife and I had to work yesterday so we just moved our laptops in front of the TV and watched, but couldn’t go to PPLTalenSubaru Park.

  3. Thank you Marjorie! You have given us the first partial clues of how fans might be allowed into the stadiums for matches, should that eventuality occur in the future.
    .

    • Hi Tim!
      My feelings are that the organization is trying to connect the fans and team along with balancing social distancing regulations. In all honesty, I felt more comfortable at the stadium than I do having to go grocery shopping at times. I would go again AND take my young sons with me to enjoy the team. This was a perfect outing to “re-introduce” my children into the new normal.

  4. Vince Devine says:

    Were you allowed to move? It looks like all the pictures were taken from the same spot.

    • If you brought chairs you were escorted to a spot on the field. I suppose you could have left it for the stands if you wanted. In the stands, we moved a couple of times to stay in the shade. No problem as long as you maintained distances from others.

    • Hi Vince,
      We were able to move as long as you followed social distancing protocol. You are correct though, I did take all of my photos from the same basic spot. I was fortunate to be at the stadium as a fan that day with my family and brought my camera along to share out experience. Usually, I am all over the stadium, within the press guidelines ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I was there and want to thank all the Union staff for an extremely well handled process. Yes they’ll be doing it again on Tuesday and for the rest of any Union games in this tournament, it is my understanding. In fact, the wheels have to be turning how philly can host outdoor watch parties for Sixer and Flyers playoff games in August/September and Suburu Park could be a possibility. Did anyone see what they did for the Revs at Gillette stadium? Very cool.

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