News leadership: The U90 Football Center, which operates a football complex with grass pitches, events and retail space in Queens, will be coming to the former professional school-turned creative hub in South Philly this fall.
- U90 founder Zach Rubin told Axios they’re converting nearly 17,000 square feet of space, spanning two floors and part of the Bok’s deck, into a single football venue.
The Big Picture: In a city where the green bleeds in the middle of the night, as the Sixers and Flyers pack the Wells Fargo Center, soccer players can feel a little sidelined. Union Home Games have been relegated 20 miles outside of town, and the nearest soccer retailer is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
- Rubin said he searched all over town for the Federation jersey last year and was only able to find one place – a store with Phillies gear – that had them in stock.
which – which, And what Robin? Described as “not enough recreational space in Philly in general and in South Philly specifically”, which is what U90 is seeking to solve with its new facility.
what are you expecting: Renovations are underway to convert approximately 6,000 square feet in the building’s basement into a retail space, where U90 will sell soccer apparel, T-shirts, shoes, balls, bags, and more — plus it’ll provide customization, too. Sporting goods chain Soccer Post will manage its retail operations.
- The 5,000-square-foot upper floor formerly used as the former school’s gymnasium will be converted into indoor soccer fields, with a viewing gallery.
- Then the remaining space on the roof will be dedicated to a football field with the city skyline as a backdrop.
fat, Who rented the venue last year, envisions the complex as a place where football fans of all ages can come together to play games, pick up equipment, watch matches and host parties.
- With Southwark School across the street, Robin is looking at options for holding after-school programs in the space.
- He also plans to include it in the Just Play app, where players can reserve a spot in U90-ranked pick-up games by paying a fee.
what do you want to watch: The World Cup in Qatar this November is expected to spark more excitement around the 2026 Games, when Philadelphia will be among more than a dozen locations in North America to host matches.
- Robin sees it as the perfect time to build on that momentum, and hopes to open in time to host viewing parties this fall.
- By 2026, the U90 could lead the rallies from its space, down 9th Street, he says, to watch the International Championships live at Link.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the U90 Soccer Center (not the Upper 90 Soccer Center).