New home for Leverock and Islanders
Danté Leverock, the Bermuda defender, will be playing at a new home venue for Harrisburg City Islanders this season.
The United Soccer League (USL) side have moved from the Skyline Sports Complex, their home ground since their inception in 2004, to the Metro Bank Park, which is also in City Island, Pennsylvania.
Eric Pettis, the Harrisburg City Islanders owner, said Metro Bank Park — the home field for Minor League Baseball team Harrisburg Senators — would enable the team to expand their operations both on and off the field.
“It took all of the resources of Harrisburg to keep us here,” said Pettis, who recently announced Susquehanna Capital Corp as the newest investors in the franchise.
“We have taken a significant risk to keep pace with the growth of the league and remain a valuable asset to the USL.”
The Skyline Sports Complex, which overlooks downtown Harrisburg along the Susquehanna River, was deemed unacceptable by the league's standards and became regarded as one of the worst in the USL.
“Playing our matches in Metro Bank Park will allow us to provide a whole new game day experience for our fans, staff, players and opponents,” Pettis added.
Operationally, Metro Bank Park will be transformed a total of five times during the season. Sod will be laid every two matches with the help of the Senators grounds crew, in order to convert the baseball field into a regulation football pitch.
Harrisburg missed out on the USL Eastern Conference play-offs in their final match last season.
Leverock was ruled out because of suspension and had to watch from the stands as his team suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Harrisburg only needed to draw to reach the play-offs and missed the postseason for the first time in their history.
Leverock, 23, was a regular starter at centre half in his first season at Harrisburg and also displayed his aerial threat from set pieces with three goals.
Harrisburg's home opener will take place on Friday, April 22 against Louisville City.