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News Release: MLS introduces elevated security standards

Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer introduce elevated security standards

New measures to take effect immediately; fans urged to arrive early for Saturday’s match vs. NYCFC

CHESTER, Pa. (April 19, 2016) – Philadelphia Union, along with all clubs in Major League Soccer, introduced new elevated security standards to ensure a safe environment for soccer fans, as announced by MLS today.  Beginning this Saturday, April 23 at Talen Energy Stadium, a new minimum standard Bag Policy and guest screening measures will be instituted to correspond with security measures taken by the other professional sports leagues in North America.

In an effort to minimize wait times, Talen Energy Stadium will open 90 minutes prior to kickoff on Saturday and will remain so until further notice. Fans arriving early should enter through the Talen Energy Gate and are encouraged to do so to ensure the shortest wait time. Under the new security policy, all guests at Talen Energy Stadium will be fully screened upon entry. The screenings will be conducted via the use of a search wand.

“We’ve always placed fan safety as the No. 1 priority at our facility,” said Mike Scanlon, Talen Energy Stadium’s General Manager. “We support Major League Soccer’s decision and will have the necessary screening procedures in place for Saturday, and beyond, to ensure full compliance. We want to encourage all of our guests to arrive earlier than they normally would.”

These security standards will apply to all MLS, SUM, and USL games played at MLS venues, including but not limited to MLS League and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games, friendly matches, and fan events.

“Public safety is a top priority and the enhanced security measures will ensure that fans are able to continue to enjoy MLS and SUM events in a safe environment,” said MLS president and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott.

“The safety of our fans, players and staff is paramount,” said Ray Whitworth, Senior VP of Security and Operations. “The updated security measures bring us in line with professional sports leagues around the United States and Canada while maintaining the unique sports experience that is MLS.”

Under the new league-wide Bag Policy, fans are prohibited from bringing the following into a stadium**:

·         Large purses

·         Coolers

·         Briefcases

·         Backpacks

·         Luggage of any kind

·         Computer bags

·         Camera bags

·         Any bag larger than 14’’x14’’x6’’

In addition, all bags will be subject to search upon entry. The bag restriction will not apply to credentialed media, who will continue to enter MLS stadiums through designated entrances and adhere to all posted media bag policies and screenings. However, as has always been the case at Talen Energy Stadium, all media bags will continue to be searched upon entry.

**Special considerations will be made for guests with special medical needs and parents caring for infants. 

The increased security policy was unanimously supported by the MLS Board of Governors and involved input from all 20 MLS clubs.

Philadelphia was awarded the 16th Major League Soccer franchise on Feb. 28, 2008 and the Union were officially named on May 11, 2009. Owned and operated by Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, the group launched the Philadelphia Union's inaugural season on March 25, 2010 and opened Talen Energy Stadium on June 27. Throughout the club’s seven-year history, the Union have reached the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in 2014 and 2015, and have also reached the MLS playoffs in 2011. In 2016, the Union opened their seventh year at Talen Energy Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium that has hosted internationally known clubs Celtic, Chivas de Guadalajara, Everton, Schalke 04, Aston Villa, Pumas UNAM, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth. For more information about Philadelphia Union, visit