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.

1. Be Loud:

The Sons of Ben are the engine that keeps this team running. Opposing players and supporters should be embarrassed by how loud and proud The River End is for 90 minutes every match. We wave our Jolly Franklin flags and hang our tifo to make sure everyone knows who’s house they’re in. 

2. Be Proud:

We were here before the team. That makes us the best supporters in the league. Every other supporters groups wishes they could be us. Wear their jealousy like a badge of honor. But don’t let them get to you: engaging in any sort of physical altercation with anyone at anytime is strictly prohibited and will absolutely get you ejected if not banned from PPL Park and the Sons of Ben. 

3. Be Smart:

Have a great time before and during the match but don’t overdo it. If you can’t handle your alcohol, don’t have any. If you can’t express your anger at the referee, opposing players or opposing supporters without using violent, sexist, racist or homophobic speech and gestures, then don’t open your mouth. Better yet, don’t come to a match, away trip or watch party because that kind of hate isn’t welcome in The River End, at our watch parties, Sons of Ben events or on social media. Use it and you’ll be ejected and potentially banned.

4. Be Passionate:

This is OUR team and it is OUR job to support them. If you can’t follow this simple code of conduct, maybe this isn’t for you. 

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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
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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.