Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben is a 501(c) (3) Pennsylvania based non-profit, membership organization.

The Sons of Ben, founded in January 2007, exists to support and develop the Delaware Valley soccer community. Through active, grassroots support, the Sons of Ben helped establish the momentum leading to the creation of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Philadelphia Independence of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league. In forging a relationship with Chester City, Delaware County and Pennsylvania State political leaders along with Major League Soccer, the vocal support of the group directly influenced the decision to award Philadelphia with an MLS franchise.

The Sons of Ben have provided a social outlet for soccer supporters to share common interests and be part of a larger community of sports fans in the 4th largest American media market. The organization has grown to include over 5,000 members throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and around the world. The Sons of Ben have also grown to oversee the Delaware Valley Infantry, a US Soccer supporters group based in Philadelphia region, and the Daughters of Betsy, a Philadelphia Independence (WPS) supporters group.
Charitable and philanthropic efforts have been central to the Sons of Ben since its founding, as evidenced by annual initiatives supporting the Bernardine Center in Chester, PA through its Help Kick Hunger campaign and ongoing efforts to support various other organizations close to the Delaware Valley soccer community.

The coming months will start a new chapter in the organizations noteworthy story with many historical events marking the arrival of the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Independence and the Sons of Ben into the national spotlight.

Game Day Etiquette

Code of Conduct

The Sons of Ben code of conduct consists of four simple, common sense rules members are expected to follow at Philadelphia Union games and other SoB events.


We say some pretty uncomplimentary things about the other team and occasionally the referee. (Okay, usually the referee.) What we don't do is base those comments on their skin color, their last name or the country they (or their parents or grandparents) were born in. Sons of Ben have a zero tolerance policy for racist chants, songs, or taunts. Start one and you're out.


Our goal is to intimidate the opposition, drown out their fans, and make PPL Park a miserable place to visit. But we will do it without throwing punches, or anything else, at players, referees, fans, or stadium staff. Starting a fight with opposing supporters or trying to physically injure a player or referee is off limits.


Use your common sense. Sons of Ben are in the stadium to support the Union. If you’re here to support the team, you’re welcome in the Sons of Ben. If you’re here to make trouble for yourself or for the fans around you, you aren’t welcome. Disruptive, dangerous, or obnoxious behavior towards your fellow fans is not acceptable.


The Sons of Ben do all we can to make sure our section, home or away, is the most exciting place to watch a game and the most intimidating thing the other team has ever seen. To ensure that we can keep doing so for many years to come, please follow stadium policies regarding prohibited items, obey local laws, know your limits with alcohol, and don't do anything to get yourself or the SoBs kicked out of the stadium.

If you violate this simple Code of Conduct, the Sons of Ben can and will revoke your membership without a refund, meaning you will no longer be permitted into the supporters' section. Serious offenses, and all racist incidents, will also be reported to the team and may get you banned from the stadium entirely.


Cappo Stand Guidelines

Cappo stands are designed for the purpose of allowing supporter leadership the ability to stand at the front of their sections to lead chants and songs for Union matches. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Cappo stands are open 1 hour prior to kick off and close immediately following the conclusion of the match
    • Only credentialed members will be allowed onto the stands post match to remove any permitted game day items. All game day items must be removed within 45 minutes of the final whistle.
  • Only credentialed members will be allowed on the cappo stand at any time
  • No more than 3 credentialed members will be on the cappo stand at any time
  • Approved items for the cappo stand:
    • Drums
    • Flags, banners, tifo
    • Smoke devices
      • Cappo stands are the only permitted area to utilize smoke devices
      • 5 devices will be given to each stand prior to the start of the match
      • Smoke devices must be dropped into metal buckets filled with stand on the cappo stands for use
      • Smoke devices may be utilized upon pre-game entrance, Union goals and a Union win

River End Ticket Resale Policy

As some of you may know, we've had multiple incidents this year involving people in the River End who bought tickets on StubHub or other third-party ticket marketplaces. Often these people either bought the tickets because they're cheap and are upset when they find out it's a standing, singing section. Worse, some of them want to be in the River End because they think they can get away with disruptive or even racist behavior. We understand that season tickets are expensive, and that not every fan can make every game. With that in mind, we want to clarify the rules on StubHub and similar services.

1) We strongly encourage fans with extra tickets to try to sell them to a fellow SoB first. There is a thread for this purpose on BigSoccer and we are planning to implement a ticket-matching feature on our website for the 2012 season if possible.

2) If you sell your tickets to non-SoBs, you must tell them that the seats are in the supporters' section and what that means: no opposing colors, no racism, no violence, no complaining if the fans in front of them are standing up and the fans behind them are singing an off-color song. If you sell to non-SoBs, you will be held responsible for Code of Conduct violations by those using your seats.

3) Selling River End tickets to strangers without informing them of the rules and requirements for standing in the supporters' section is a violation of Rule 3 of the Code of Conduct, whether in person or on the internet. It is not fair to those buying the tickets, and it is not fair to those sharing the section with them. Anyone who does so will be subject to penalties that may include losing their Sons of Ben membership.

© copyright 2014, Sons of Ben.  Main image by Earl Gardner.