Hershey Wildcats were a professional soccer team, based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, that played in the USL A-League between 1997 and 2001. The team was owned by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. The team played in Hersheypark Stadium, located at Hersheypark, and received its name from the Wild Cat roller coaster. In the Wildcats' 5-year history, the average attendance was 3,189 per game.
|Full name||Hershey Wildcats|
|Ground||Hersheypark Stadium |
|Owner||Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (HE&R)|
The Wildcats were moderately successful in their short existence, with Bob Lilley coaching the team for its entire five-year run, leading the Wildcats to the playoffs in each season. In 2001, Hershey reached the A-League finals but were defeated 2–0 by the Rochester Raging Rhinos.
Less than a week after the championship match, in October 2001, Hershey Entertainment announced that the Wildcats were folding. Weak attendance, including a crowd of only 750 for the 2001 playoff semifinal, was a factor in the decision to fold the team. With the league unable to find a new owner for the club, the players became free agents.
|Year||Division||League||Reg. Season||Playoffs||Open Cup||Avg. Attendance|
|1997||2||USISL A-League||1st, Atlantic||Division Semifinals||Round of 16||3,138|
|1998||2||USISL A-League||2nd, Atlantic||Conference Semifinals||2nd Round||3,794|
|1999||2||USL A-League||1st, Atlantic||Conference Semifinals||Did not qualify||3,978|
|2000||2||USL A-League||3rd, Atlantic||Conference Quarterfinals||Did not qualify||2,214|
|2001||2||USL A-League||1st, Northern||Final||3rd Round||2,911|