Islanders moving to Metro Bank Park
HARRISBURG — Eric Pettis, owner of the City Islanders, has announced that the team will move to a new venue for the 2016 season.
The club will now call Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg its new home for 10 matches of the 2016 United Soccer League (USL) season. Metro Bank Park is the home of the Class AA Harrisburg Senators baseball team, which plays in the Eastern League.
Pettis made the announcement and said he did so with the support of Harrisburg mayor Eric Papenfuse, Susquehanna Capital Corp., Harrisburg Senators’ president Kevin Kulp and Islanders’ and Senators’ front office staff.
“It took all of the resources of Harrisburg to keep us here,” Pettis said. “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 investor in the franchise. With the addition, the Islanders are now controlled by majority owner Pettis (Harrisburg), Bryan Gobin (Carlisle), Chuck Fox (Elizabethtown) and Brian Bolinger, treasurer of Susquehanna Capital Corp.
According to a news release from the team, 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."
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 USL 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,” Pettis said.
Islanders fans will now have the ability to experience preferred, reserved, clubhouse and suite seating. They will also have new food and beverage choices, improved 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 Senators' grounds crew, in order to convert the baseball field into a regulation soccer pitch.
The 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, Feb. 15.
For information on the team, visit www.cityislanders.com or call (717) 441-4625. Fans can also follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at @city_islanders and on Facebook.