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City Islanders attract new investor

Harrisburg stadium remains top priority

The Harrisburg City Islanders are still seeking financial resources to fund a new stadium on City Island. - (Photo / File)

The Harrisburg City Islanders, who are seeking financial resources to fund a new stadium on City Island, have added a new partner to the team’s ownership group.

Brian Bolinger, treasurer of Bradford County-based Susquehanna Capital Corp., a holding company with investments in property and casualty insurance companies, has joined a group that includes Eric Pettis, Bryan Gobin and Chuck Fox.

“It’s a growing sport,” Bolinger said. “What really excites us is the youth program centered around the Islanders.”

Playing in a larger venue in Harrisburg remains a priority for the team, he said. The team has applied for $5 million in grant funding through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

A new stadium on City Island has been projected to cost $13.9 million.

“We will look at all alternatives,” Bolinger said of the funding stream to make the project a reality.

The Skyline Sports Complex holds about 4,000 people. The United Soccer League has been pushing clubs to have at least 5,000-seat stadiums by 2017.

Moving the team to other areas such as Nashville, Tenn., has been discussed.

“I think Eric is always looking at options and alternatives,” Bolinger said. “I think Eric will be successful in his plans.”

The City Islanders will play games at City Island and in Lancaster County this year, he added.

Harrisburg is one of 29 teams in the USL this year. The City Islanders ended an affiliation last year with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer, leaving the Harrisburg team as an independent.

The Union have started a new club in Bethlehem that will compete in the USL’s Eastern Conference with the City Islanders.

The team has scheduled a news conference on Tuesday with Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse to discuss the upcoming season.

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