PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Sixers announced plans Thursday to build a new arena in the heart of Center City. The owner of the Sixers posted a photo of the potential arena on his website:
They call it “76 Place at Market East”.
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“What a great day for Philadelphia to announce the opening of a $1.3 billion private arena in the heart of the city, coming out of the pandemic and kind of revitalizing downtown and giving it a shot at a transit focused stop right there. “It couldn’t get better,” said David Adelman, chairman of the board and investor in the new space.
It is important to note that nothing is final. This is just a suggestion from the team.
They say they want to locate the “privately funded” arena in the fashion district where the old Gallery Mall was located, on Market Street from 10th to 11th Streets. The arena is expected to cost around $1.3 billion. According to the announcement, the arena will generate a total economic impact of $1.9 billion during construction and $400 million annually after opening to support Philadelphia’s long-term economic growth and resilience.
It’s no secret that Harris-Blitzer Entertainment, which owns the Sixers and several other professional sports teams, wants to have its own arena. The Sixers had plans to build it in Penns Landing, but the idea was dropped by the city.
Sixers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer have announced the formation of a development company called 76 Devcorp, responsible for developing the team’s future home. According to the report, the company will be headed by Adelman.
“The Philadelphia 76ers are a legendary Philadelphia organization with a proven track record of investing in their community. That’s why we’re committed to building a world-class home in the heart of the city and creating a privately funded venue that strengthens connections within the local community through investments that prioritize equity, inclusion and affordability,” Harris said in a press release. “David Adelman shares our vision of how to make the new arena a mainstay in the local community, creating well-paying jobs and economic opportunities for those who need them most.”
The city released a statement to the news of the Sixers’ proposal:
“We share the 76ers’ commitment to finding a long-term home in Philadelphia and look forward to working closely with them to make sure the development delivers the most value for the city and its residents in an equitable and sustainable manner. It was exciting to hear the proposal for the Philadelphia Fashion District as we believe it is the perfect location for a world class sports and entertainment arena. FDP offers our community a prime location and an incredible opportunity to bring downtown to life, ensuring it’s vibrant for generations to come. We look forward to seeing the development corporation, led by Philadelphia native David Adelman, lead a thoughtful process of engaging with the community, resulting in the best proposal our entire city can support.”
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According to a press release, 76 Devcorp evaluated many potential venues before selecting the Fashion District as their preferred location. They say they chose the location because it offers the richest transportation links in all of Philadelphia, an opportunity to redevelop existing commercial space, and an opportunity to play a role in the ongoing revitalization of Downtown.
According to the report, a breakthrough in this project is not expected in the next few years. According to the Sixers, if the proposal is accepted, development would be completed by the 2031–32 NBA season.
The Sixers have leased the Wells Fargo Center, where they have played since it opened in 1996. The Center’s lease expires in 2031.
The Wells Fargo Center is undergoing a $300 million renovation in hopes of keeping the Sixers alive.
A Wells Fargo Center spokesman released a statement regarding the Sixers’ offer.
“We have had an amazing partnership with the Sixers for decades and look forward to hosting the team at this world-class facility until at least 2031,” the official said in a statement. “We have invested hundreds of millions with the City, Phillies and Eagles to make the South Philadelphia Stadium District an incredible destination for sports, entertainment and our passionate fans. We think it can compete with anyone in the country and will continue to attract the best events – the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a perfect example.”
For more information about the offer click here.
Howard Monroe of CBS3 contributed to this report.
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Stay tuned to CBSPhilly.com for the latest on this evolving story.
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