The Delaware River Port Authority today approved a $10 million grant for a soccer stadium complex on the Chester waterfront.

The decision to use Delaware River bridge tolls to help build the sports-residential-and-business complex comes just weeks after the toll authority said it was out of the stadium-building business - and just as the agency prepares for toll increases.

The bistate DRPA, which is expected to raise tolls by mid-year for bridge repairs, says $10 million earmarked years ago for redevelopment at Penn's Landing will be shifted to the Chester project at the urging of Gov. Rendell, the agency's chairman.

Rendell promised backers of the stadium complex that he would seek $10 million from the port authority. Last month, he announced that Pennsylvania would provide $47 million toward the anticipated cost of about $500 million - including $115 million for the stadium.

Major League Soccer reportedly is close to agreeing to put an expansion team in the Philadelphia area, in part because of the promises of a stadium and financing.

Contact Inquirer staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or