Thursday, July 1

Philadelphia Union ticket, travel, hotel and pub guide


Philadelphia Union
Lincoln Financial Field,
Pennsylvania
Wednesday July 21, kick off 19:30 local time and 00:30 on July 22 UK time

Preview
This match is the second stop of United's five-game tour of North America.

No United player had made it past the second round stage of the World Cup, meaning all players will have had at least two weeks of rest before this game.

So, potentially, Sir Alex could field a pretty strong side, but expect lots of substitutions and a slow tempo.

As for their opponents, Philadelphia Union are currently lying 7th out of 8th in the Major League Soccer Eastern Union, eight points off a playoff place. The season lasts from March until October.

But to be fair to the club, it has only been around since February 2008 and is only in its first season.

The name Union refers to the Thirteen Colonies, which used to be under British Control, but then declared their independence. Philadelphia was the first.

Union usually play at the 18,500 PPL Park Stadium, so the 68,532-capacity venue this match will be played in will be a bit of a step up.

They're actually playing a league game at home against Toronto FC on Saturday, July 17 at 15:30 local time. Tickets cost from $25 to $150 from here.

Tickets

They are now on sale.

From Ticketmaster, they cost from $30 (£20.22) to $225 (£151.66), though there is usually a 'facility charge' of $4 (£2.69) and a convenience charge of at least $7.65 (£5.15) per ticket.

The facility charge stays the same no matter how expensive the ticket, but the convenience charge goes up with the price of the ticket.

Get your tickets here or click on the logo.

When buying the cheapest tickets from Ticketmaster, make sure you select $30, then 'regular seating' and then 'lower level' else it will put you through to the more expensive seats.

There doesn't seem to any designated away end, though the One United USA supporters club will have its own section. For information, email membership@oneunitedusa.com

Getting there

Tour

Champion Sports Tours has a package, but it is sold out.

It is for a is a seven-night trip to Toronto and Philadelphia.

On July 15, guests will depart Manchester Airport and reach Toronto after one flight transfer.
They will then stay in a three-star hotel for five nights.

On July 20, the group will travel to Philadelphia.

On July 22, they will depart Philadelphia and fly to Manchester Airport.

The package costs £1,050 per person based on two guests sharing a twin room, though upgrades to four and five-star hotels are available.

People paying by credit card will have to pay a two-per-cent charge - £21.00. Insurance is available for both packages.

Independent travel - £512
It isn't cheap. The best deal you're likely to get is £512 return from London Gatwick to Philadelphia International Airport on US Airways, bmi or TAP.

You can also go from Manchester on Delta for £542 return or from London Heathrow on Air Canada or British Airways for £543.

Flight take 7 hours to 7 hours 50 minutes each way.

From the airport

Philadelphia International Airport
is the 11th busiest airport in the world and it has six terminals (two of which are absolutely huge).

The terminal you arrive into depends on which airline you fly with.

Downtown Philadelphia is 10 miles north east of the airport and pretty easy to reach.

By road, once you've gone past the golf club, it's just one straight road (Broad Street) into the city centre. Taxis go from outside every terminal and a flat rate of $28.50 (£18.79) applies.

The airport also has its own own train station (pictured) and it costs $7 (£4.61) one way to any of the five stations in the city centre. You can also pay $10 (£6.59) for a day ticket.

There is a separate station linked to each terminal. It takes about 25 minutes to reach the centre. You can get timetable information here.

Orientation
For the purpose of this guide, we will call the central location City Hall, which has its own Metro Station on the yellow Broad Street north-to-south line. Here is a map.


To the stadium
It's very simple to reach from City Hall.

Take seven stops south on the Metro Broad Street line and get off at Pattison, which is right by the stadium. It takes 15 minutes to get there. A metro map is here.

Even though it's effectively in a straight line south, it would take you about 80 minutes to walk.

Hotels (All prices are per person, per night in a twin or double room)
Places to stay in the US are always pretty pricey, mostly because service is everything and three-star level is seen as the minimum, and four-star the norm.

Budget - £36.80
The Society Hill Hotel
at 301 Chesnut Street, is a small hotel with only 12 rooms. But it's four-star rated and brilliant value for money. It's located five minutes away from Independence Hall and all rooms have air conditioning. Rooms get booked out very quickly.

Comfortable - £51.30
Hilton City Avenue (pictured) at 4200 City Avenue is as central as it gets. It's a great place to stay and, though it is only three stars, it offers a very comfortable stay, with two restaurants, a superb bar and brilliant rooms.

Luxury - £76.61
It doesn't get much better than the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel at 170 Locust Street. It's in Rittenhouse Square and each of the 301 rooms are brilliant. There's a fitness centre, two restaurants and staff run tours of the city.

You can book any of the three hotels above, plus 40 or so other Philadelphia hotels at booking.com On most bookings, you pay the fee on arrival at the hotel and can cancel for free up to 24 hours before arrival.

Top 10 sights
1. Franklin Square (mini golf, picnic area, fairground rides)
2. Philadelphia Brewing Co. brewery tour
3. Sugarhouse Casino
4. The Liberty Bell (pictured)
5. City tour (leaves from 5th and Market Street regularly throughout the day)
6. Philadelphia Art Museum
7. Philadelphia Zoo
8. Love Park (public part with amazing scenery)
9. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (American Revolution landmark)
10. Eastern State Penitentiary (derelict 18th-century solitary confinement prison)

Pubs
As the MLS season is ongoing, there are pretty much two matches to see every day, so it's best to find a decent pub showing it.

How about Fergie's (pictured) at 1214 Sansom Street? Surely that must be an omen?

It sells 38 bottled drinks including Harp, Heineken and Stella Artois and 12 beers on tap. It's open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 02:00 and Sunday from 17:00 to 02:00.

Alternatively, try the Dark Horse Pub at 421 South Second Street, which also shows the matches and serves decent food (the steak and mushroom pie is apparently the highlight).

It has an outdoor seating area if the weather is good and it has one of the oldest working fireplaces in the city. This pub is near the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It's open daily from 11:30 to 02:00

Other options include Fado Irish Pub at 1500 Locust Street and O’Neal’s Pub at Third and South Street.

Practical information
The currency is the American dollar. 82p makes a $1 and $l.51 makes £1.

At the moment, Althams gives the best conversion rate.

Althams has branches in Bolton, Bury, Farnworth, Denton and many other Lancashire and Greater Manchester locations.

Police/fire/ambulance – call 911 in an emergency. For police, call 311 in a non emergency

Hahnemann University Hospital as at Broad and Vine. Call 215-762-700 in a non emergency.

Internet cafe – Cafe Mocha at 263 South 10th Street, just off Broad Street. Internet access is free when you buy a cup off coffee (which can be pricey).

Philadelphia British Honorary Consulate is on the 33rd floor at 1818 Market Street, Philadelphia. Call 215-557-7665.

If you're calling home or UK mobile phones from Philadelphia, remove the first 0 and add 01144.

More resources
Philadelphia Tourism Website
Metro map
Train timetables

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