Storm damage chases International Unity Cup to another location

Cherri Gregg
August 01, 2019 - 1:46 pm
Wednesday's storm caused major damage to the Northeast Philadelphia park that was supposed to host the city's International Unity Cup tournament kick off.

Courtesy of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Wednesday's quick-hitting storm caused major damage to the Northeast Philadelphia park that was supposed to host the city's International Unity Cup tournament kick off. Now there's a new location.

"When the storm came through, it pulled up the bleachers and sent them across the field and tore up the turf," said Bill Salvatore, director of the Philadelphia International Unity Cup.

The World Cup-style soccer tournament pits Philadelphia's immigrant communities against each other — for bragging rights. The tournament was set to kick off its fourth season on Friday at 6 p.m. at Ramp Playground on Solly Avenue. Then the storm hit, causing damage unlike any Salvatore has ever seen.

"It looked like some bleachers that were still in place were pushed about 10 feet," he said. "And the other bleachers just kind of flew over the guard rails and just rolled over a few times. It was really interesting."

Wednesday's storm caused major damage to the Northeast Philadelphia park that was supposed to host the city's International Unity Cup tournament kick off.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Salvatore says the kick off take place on time, but it has moved to Northeast High School at 1600 Cottman Avenue.

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He says crews are on hand at Ramp Playground to remove and replace the mangled bleachers and redo the damaged turf. No word yet on the cost, but Salvatore says they want the original site ready for play as soon as possible.

"Maybe it'll be ready to go next weekend," he said.

Fifty teams will take part in more than 100 games over the next three months. The tournament will culminate in a championship on Oct. 12 at Talen Energy Field in Chester. For more on the tournament, visit unitycup.phila.gov.