The Philly Soul return to the AFL


The Philadelphia Soul are back. The Arena Football League was forced to halt operations during a reorganization phase after the 2008 season, but now that the economy is on a track for recovery and fans are finding a little more disposable income than recent years, the league is back in full swing. That means that the reigning AFL champion Philadelphia Soul are set to take the field once again.

In case anyone forgot, the Philadelphia Soul paved the way for a streak of winning seasons in Philadelphia when they won Arena Bowl XXII in 2008, which of course was followed by the Philadelphia Phillies winning the World Series. They won the game 59-56 against the San Jose SaberCats. The score alone is an indication of how exciting arena football games are to watch. Rules are slightly different than in the NFL, which provides a fun alternative to traditional Sunday football. And of course, who would not be interested in watching a football team from Philly who are the reigning league champions? It seems that Philly Soul is the best chance that Philly fans have to see a local football team hold up a championship trophy, based on the fact that in only four years of the franchise they won it all.

Philadelphia has seen a few interesting changes in its sports scene in recent years, including the arrival of Philadelphia’s very own professional soccer team,the Union. There are many fans who simply cannot afford to attend Eagles and Flyers games since tickets can run well over $80, so a niche market has developed for fans who want to support their Philadelphia teams without losing their rent money in the process.

The best part about Philly Soul’s organization is that the team is owned and operated by local guys. Before the league took a leave of absence after the 2008 season, Jon Bon Jovi was the majority owner of the team. He was asked to regain that position with the return of the league but declined due to his dedication to his band at the present time; however he remains a strong supporter of the franchise. Notable co-owners are former Eagles quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, who led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl in 1980 against the Oakland Raiders, and Pete Ciarrocchi, the owner of the Chickie’s and Pete’s franchise and inventor of Crabfries.

Philadelphia Soul also has a strong history of giving back to the community, as they supported the cleanup and renovation of 15 townhouses in North Philadelphia. Jon Bon Jovi and former president Bill Clinton both led the way with that effort.
Philadelphia Soul tickets are very affordable, especially for poor college students (like myself) who are always looking for a cheap, fun night when there is nothing better going on. Ticket prices start at only $13 for a single game ticket, and that price is dropped down to $10 per game ticket if season tickets are purchased.

Soul games are played in the Wells Fargo Center so it is easy to attend games via SEPTA’s Broad Street Line if you do not want to spend a lot of money on gas, tolls and parking. If students are interested in attending a game and are leaving from the Rutgers-Camden campus, they could simply hop on PATCO at the City Hall station in Camden (about two blocks from the law school) and transfer over to the Market-Frankford Line in Philadelphia. From there, they can make a free transfer from the Market-Frankford Line (the Blue line) to the Broad Street Line (the Orange line) and take the Broad Street line all the way to the stadiums where it will drop passengers off right at Pattison Ave.

Soul games are a great value and one of the best parts of being a Rutgers-Camden student is the ease of enjoying all that Philadelphia has to offer. Rather than dropping $20 on a movie and dinner, why not attend a high-energy football game at the Wells Fargo Center for the same price?

The Soul of Philadelphia is back, and they are set to defend their championship status. For a few bucks, you can enjoy a fun night out on the town and experience an exciting football game in not-so-traditional style.


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