June 14, 2021
As Wawa's footprint continues to expand in Philadelphia, the convenience store chain will open a new location Thursday that will be its first in the city to sell beer.
The company announced it will open its "Stadium Store" in South Philadelphia as part of an endorsement of the city's bid to host soccer matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The new Wawa is at the foot of the Platt Memorial Bridge, at 2600 Penrose Ave. The store will be adjacent to the 26th Street entrance to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and 1 1/2 miles from the entrance to FDR Park.
The property is formerly the site of a car-crushing facility and junkyard that for decades served as an ignominious unofficial gateway to Philadelphia for travelers arriving at the airport and then entering the city via the Platt Bridge. The car-crusher relocated to New Jersey about eight years ago.
The Wawa grand opening will be attended by Philadelphia Union Captain Alejandro Bedroya, who will offer a toast for the location's first cup of coffee. Wawa also will unveil a digital billboard in support of Philadelphia Soccer 2026, the city's campaign to be a host city for the World Cup.
Philadelphia is among 17 U.S. finalists competing for one of 10 cities to host the games in North America. The 2026 World Cup will be the first time the event is held on U.S. soil since 1994, when venues included Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, Soldier Field in Chicago, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando and Foxboro Stadium outside Boston. The selection of host cities is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
The sale of beer at the new Wawa will make the store just the sixth in Pennsylvania to sell alcoholic beverages. A West Philly store at 38th and Spruce streets used to sell beer, but ended the practice in 2001. The closest Wawa to the city that sells beer currently is in Chadds Ford, Delaware County.
Wawa, Philadelphia Soccer 2026 and Welcome America also will unveil an interactive soccer exhibit supporting the World Cup bid at the Independence Visitors Center in Old City, forming part of the upcoming 2021 Wawa Welcome America Festival.
Those who attend the grand opening of the store in South Philadelphia between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday will receive free T-shirts if they sign up for Wawa's "Love for the Game" promotion, which support's Philadelphia's host-city bid.
A Hoagies for Heroes hoagie-building competition also will take place between two local youth soccer teams to benefit Philadelphia Parks & Recreation programs for youth soccer.