Greater Reading scores-big in minor league sports
By Keith Stamm, Director of Workforce Development, GRCA
Sports and the Greater Reading area have a long history together. In fact, our love of sports and our great location have spurred a vibrant and exciting sporting experience to the local community. With a rich history and a passionate fan base, these teams showcase top-tier talent while providing affordable entertainment for sports enthusiasts of all ages.
Reading Fightin Phils
One of the most prominent minor league teams in Reading is the Reading Fightin Phils, the Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Established in 1967, the Fightin Phils have become an integral part of the Reading sports culture. Their home games take place at the iconic FirstEnergy Stadium, known for its electric atmosphere and family-friendly environment. The stadium is currently undergoing renovations that will make it more accommodating and up to date for players and fans, while still maintaining its small-town charm. This stadium offers a picturesque backdrop of the Reading skyline and provides an ideal setting for enjoying America’s pastime. Fans will enjoy watching future Major League Baseball stars take the field and experience the thrill of live baseball action.
The Fightin Phils’ games are known for their high energy and lively entertainment. From the moment fans step into the stadium, they are greeted with engaging promotions, exciting contests and a festive atmosphere. Whether it’s the mesmerizing sight of the beloved mascots, the smell of ballpark food or the kid-friendly games, the Fightin Phils offer an experience that appeals to fans of all ages.
The Fightin Phils embody the spirit of minor league baseball and have played a significant role in developing future Major League talent. Throughout its history, the team has seen many famous and well-known players pass through its ranks on their way to successful careers in the big leagues.
The Reading Royals are a professional ice hockey team based in Reading. They compete in the ECHL (formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League) and are known for their thrilling on-ice performances, dedicated fan base and community involvement.
Established in 2001, the Royals quickly made a name for themselves in the hockey world. They have enjoyed success on the ice, winning
multiple division championships and making appearances in the ECHL playoffs. The team’s commitment to excellence has earned them a reputation as one of the premier franchises in the league.
The Royals play their home games at the Santander Arena, a state-of-the-art facility that offers a fantastic viewing experience for fans. The
arena’s vibrant atmosphere, combined with the team’s high-paced style of play, creates an electric environment that keeps spectators on the
edge of their seats.
In addition to their on-ice success, the Reading Royals are deeply involved in the local community. They actively engage with fans through various initiatives, such as youth hockey programs, school visits and charitable events. The team’s players and staff are known for their accessibility and willingness to give back, further cementing their connection with the community.
The Royals also take pride in their passionate fan base. Reading hockey fans are known for their unwavering support in creating a true hockey atmosphere that motivates the players. The team’s dedication to the fans is reciprocated through the overwhelming support they receive.
They are a beloved sports franchise that brings excitement and joy to the community. With their thrilling on-ice performances, community involvement and passionate fan base, the Royals have become a vital part of the Reading sports landscape.
Reading United A.C.
Reading United A.C. (formerly Reading Rage) is a premier minor league soccer franchise based in Reading. Originally founded in 1995, Reading United A.C. now comprises both a men’s and women’s team—the women, having just completed their inaugural season in 2023. The men’s team plays in the United Soccer League (USL) and the women’s team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
The team’s success can be attributed to its focus on player development and a strong coaching staff. They provide a professional training environment, state-of-the-art facilities and a competitive schedule that challenges players to improve their skills and tactical understanding of
the game. Their consistent success has created a strong fan base that consistently supports them year after year, while also inspiring future
generations of players.
Off the field, Reading United A.C. is deeply connected to the local community. They actively engage in outreach programs, soccer clinics and initiatives that promote youth development and inclusivity. The team’s dedication to making a positive impact extends beyond the field, fostering a sense of pride and unity within the community.
Overall, Reading United A.C. is a formidable force in their respective leagues and a crucial pathway for young players aspiring to reach the
professional ranks. With a winning tradition, commitment to player development and strong community ties, the team continues to make
a significant impact on the soccer landscape in Greater Reading and beyond.
The Reading Rebels are the most recent professional sports team addition to our area, making their debut in 2022. In additional to bringing professional basketball on to the scene, the Rebels have also featured local home-grown talent in their players and coaching staff.
As a new team, the Rebels are focused on building a strong program and finding talent that will create a culture of success. Several of the players are from the Greater Reading area, which has helped create excitement and delight as well as a strong fan base from the start. The Rebels play their home games at Alvernia University, so you’ll definitively want to make sure you check out a game!