Philadelphia, the original United States capital, is a city with a deep sports tradition. Beginning with a loyalty to the Philadelphia Phillies since the 1880s to the embracement of the Philadelphia Union soccer team, this is a northeastern city capable of hosting the Olympic Games.
It would of course take more than a love of competitive sport to qualify as a host city. Philadelphia has many of these other qualifications. In fact, its location and available stadiums make it an ideal place for the Olympics.
The Sports Complex in South Philadelphia already has three stadiums: Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, and the indoor arena Wells Fargo Center. Separated by only a parking lot, this would be the epicenter of the games.
As is the case with all Olympic Games, they do not all take place at the same venue or location. A Philadelphia Olympics would expand further into Pennsylvania and spill over into New Jersey.
Less known existing complexes that could be used are Campbell’s Field home of the Camden Riversharks, PPL Park home of the Philadelphia Union, and any of the college venues. The Liacarous Center at Temple, the Palestra at Pennsylvania University, and the Pavilion at Villanova are just three of the suggested locations where events could potentially be held.
The Summer Olympics would be much more realistic for Philadelphia. However, the Winter Olympics could be possible if they were willing to stretch some events into the Pocono Mountains. For the sake of keeping things more viable, let’s rule the Winter Games out.
Philadelphia also has the benefit of being located near the Jersey Shore. An expansion east toward the ocean would create even more places to build a new venue, which would probably need to happen.
Without knowing the whole political landscape of things, one place I would like to see an Olympic Stadium is in Camden, New Jersey. A city devastated for many years by economic turmoil, it could be an added addition to their waterfront area that seems to have decelerated growth. Once a prominent city, Camden has become nearly abandoned and unsafe. Based on reports out of Sochi, Camden in its current state may look like Cancun at spring break by comparison.
Philadelphia also has the added benefit of being a major city without too many transit problems. SEPTA is generally reliable and driving through the city is not nightmarish. As learned by the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, getting in and out of the venue is important.
Philadelphia has the venues, it has an identity, and it already has a reasonable shot at allowing visitors to get around. All it needs now is a push and the actual desire to host the Olympic Games. My general feeling is that most Philadelphians would rather not. Why bring trouble into your backyard?
The Olympics in Philadelphia is possible, just not likely.