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Skyline Sports Complex

Harrisburg, PA

Home of the Harrisburg City Islanders

3.4

N/A

Skyline Sports Complex (map it)
201 Championship Way
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Harrisburg City Islanders website

Skyline Sports Complex website

Year Opened: 1987

Capacity: 4,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Island Soccer

City Island in Harrisburg is an extremely unique place. What makes it unique, a true one of kind place, is that two sports complexes are located on this island park out in the middle of the mighty Susquehanna River.

The most well-known of the sports facilities is Metro Bank Park, home of the Harrisburg Senators. But right next door to that ballpark is Skyline Sports Complex, home of the Harrisburg City Islanders.

The City Islanders play in the USL Professional Division (USL Pro), the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. This league, especially after recent agreements with Major League Soccer (MLS), has stabilized the soccer system in North America. The City Islanders have been around since 2004 and currently have an affiliation agreement with the nearby Philadelphia Union of the MLS. By way of this agreement, Union players are often loaned to the City Islanders for varying periods of time.

The City Islanders are quick to mention that although the location of their field is one of the best in America, that not all aspects of the current set up is ideal. By 2016 the team hopes to have a 4,500 seat replacement facility in place at the same location.

And the team is right. The current facility is lacking. But the City Islander organization goes out of their way to make the best of a less than ideal situation.

3.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

Walking into the facility you may assume that the food situation would not be the best. But you would be wrong in that regard. The food court area located past the northwest corner of the field is quaint and offers many options, all at extremely reasonable prices.

The first place to stop in is local favorite Bricker's Fries. Here you can get some of their boardwalk style fries in prices ranging from $3 to $6. They also sell chicken fingers for $5, with a combo of both items a very good deal at $8. This is also the best stop in the stadium for bottled water, priced at $1.

Next door is a double stand building with the Tropical Smoothie Cafe and a beer stand. Smoothies are $5 in a variety of flavors. And the other window, beer is $4 to $5 with Bud Light, Yuengling and local brew Troegs available. The Troegs style looks to rotate with Sunshine Pils in evidence on my most recent visit. Also note that the team runs some craft beer nights throughout the season so be sure to check their website if interested.

A final stand is the main concession stand. The best deals here are the $1 hot dogs and $2.50 slices of Pizza Hut pizza. Pay attention to the 75th minute of the game as any extra slices will go on sale for a $1 each.

Atmosphere    4

The field is surrounded on two sides by 10 simple bleacher sections, seven which are general admission. These are not great stands. There are no seat backs and you will likely see the same set up at your local rec field, if not better. There is also the entrance walkway on the east side of the field where you will see some fans camp out in their own chairs. The small press box is located on the east side as well. The south end of the field has the "Socceritaville Deck" for season ticket holders to watch the game while enjoying an adult beverage.

The stadium is not ideal. But the team makes the best of it. The organization is interactive and gets the crowd into the game. Watch out for interesting mascot Tikimon as he roams the stands.

If you are there for night games beware the mayflies that swarm, much as they do at the nearby baseball stadium. Bright colors will attract them more, so dress appropriately in darker colors.

Neighborhood    4

City Island is fun. There are many activities right on the island, including mini golf, batting cages, paddleboat cruises and even a small snack bar. And the AA minor league baseball stadium is next door, of course.

You can also use the pedestrian bridge to downtown Harrisburg if you need more options. With the city being the state capital there are many historical sites and favorites such as the Pennsylvania State Capitol building, the Pennsylvania State Museum, the National Civil War Museum, and the Whitaker Center, a kid-friendly science museum. A few hotels are located downtown, with the Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey being the best and closest option.

Dining and drinking options are good downtown. 2nd Street has many places to visit as part of its restaurant row. Molly Brannigans at 31 N 2nd Street is a good Irish bar that shows many soccer games live on their numerous TVs. The best deal may be Anthony's Micro Pub & Pizza (225 N 2nd Street) which has a large selection of craft brews and a great happy hour special with half off from 4pm to 6pm. And on Fridays and Saturdays the special also includes free pizza.

Fans    3

The fans are knowledgeable soccer fans that deserve a better facility. But they still show their team pride well and with respect.

There is still a steady attendance of 1,400 or so that come to each game. The facility is probably what is keeping that number from getting higher.

Access    3

Harrisburg is not hard to get to with major highways I-81, I-83 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike all nearby. But the island location can make travel a bit quirky as car traffic is limited to one bridge. And if another event is happening at the baseball stadium, traffic could be heavy.

One option is to sneak on to the bridge from the west, by way of the town of Camp Hill, where traffic may be lighter. You could also park in downtown Harrisburg and walk over, but be prepared to pay parking prices that are far too high for such a small city.

If you park on the island, be prepared for parking to be either free or $5 depending on the day and time.

Return on Investment    4

The return on investment is where this experience shines. Single game tickets are $12 with cheaper prices for seniors and children ($10 and $7, respectively). Kids 4 and under are free.

With the potential for free or cheap parking, coupled with great food prices, the whole package makes the City Islanders a great value. Fans will see a good level of talent on the field, at a very close view.

Extras    3

The island and its amenities is an amazing extra. Make sure to spend some time wandering the island and partaking in the activities.

The unique situation with the mayflies swarming is not for everyone. But the way that the two island teams make the best of this is interesting and something you will not see at other facilities.

Walking the pedestrian bridge, known as the Walnut Street Bridge, is an amazing way to see the Susquehanna River at work. After a storm it will offer dramatic views of its power. You will also see a marker at the center of the bridge that notes an extremely high water level from the aftermath of Hurricane Agnes in 1972, which is amazing to ponder. The spans west from the island collapsed in 1996 due to flooding and was never rebuilt.

Final Thoughts

The City Islanders are in desperate need of a new stadium, or at the least major upgrades to their existing facility. But that does not mean that you cannot enjoy yourself at the present stadium. This place offers the fans a great view of a great game at a very reasonable price.

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Local Food & Drink

Molly Brannigans  (map it!)

31 N 2nd St

Harrisburg, PA 17101

(717) 260-9242

http://www.mollybrannigans.com/

Anthony's Micro Pub & Pizza  (map it!)

225 N 2nd St

Harrisburg, PA 17101

(717) 238-2009

http://www.yelp.com/biz/anthonys-micro-pub-harrisburg

Local Entertainment

Pennsylvania State Capitol  (map it!)

N 3rd St

Harrisburg, PA 17120

(800) 868-7672

http://www.pacapitol.com/

Pennsylvania State Museum  (map it!)

300 North St

Harrisburg, PA 17120

(717) 787-4980

http://www.statemuseumpa.org/

National Civil War Museum  (map it!)

100 Concert Dr

Harrisburg, PA 17103

(717) 260-1861

http://www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org/

Whitaker Center  (map it!)

225 Market St

Harrisburg, PA 17101

(717) 221-9588

http://www.whitakercenter.org/

Lodging

Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey  (map it!)

23 S 2nd St

Harrisburg, PA 17101

(717) 234-5021

http://www.cpharrisburg.com/

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