PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Sixers have announced plans to potentially build a brand new arena in the heart of Center City on Thursday. The Sixers ownership posted an image of the potential arena on their website:
They call it “76 Place at Market East”.
“What a great day for Philadelphia to announce a privately funded $1.3 billion arena in the heart of the city coming out of the pandemic and somehow revitalizing downtown and giving you a shot at a traffic oriented stop right there.” can’t get any better than that,” said David Adelman, chairman and investor of the new arena.
It is important to note that nothing is final. This is just a team suggestion.
They say they want to build the “privately funded” arena in the Fashion District, where the old Gallery Mall was located, at 10th-11th Streets Market. The arena is expected to cost around $1.3 billion. According to a press release, the arena would generate $1.9 billion in total economic output during construction and $400 million annually after opening to support Philadelphia’s long-term economic growth and sustainability.
It’s no secret that Harris-Blitzer Entertainment, which owns the Sixers and several other professional sports teams, wants its own arena. The Sixers had plans to do that build one at Penn’s Landingbut the city scrapped that idea.
Sixers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer announced the formation of a development company called “76 Devcorp” to be responsible for developing the team’s future home. According to a statement, the company will be managed by Adelman.
“The Philadelphia 76ers are a historic Philadelphia institution with a proven investment 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 arena that strengthens bonds within the local community through investments that prioritize equity, inclusivity and accessibility,” Harris said in a press release. “David Adelman shares our vision to ensure the new arena is an anchor force in the local community, creating high-paying jobs and economic opportunity for those who need it most.”
The city released a statement on 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 ensure development maximizes benefits to the city and its residents in an equitable and sustainable manner. It was exciting to hear the Philadelphia Fashion District proposal as we believe it is an ideal location for a world-class sports and entertainment arena. The FDP offers our community a location with many transit options and an incredible opportunity to revitalize Center City and ensure its vibrancy for generations to come. We look forward to the development company, led by Philadelphia native David Adelman, working in partnership with the community to lead a thoughtful participatory process that will result in the best proposal—one that our entire city can support.
According to a press release, 76 Devcorp evaluated numerous potential locations before designating the Fashion District as its preferred location. They say they chose the site because it is the busiest location in all of Philadelphia, the opportunity to redevelop an existing commercial space, and the opportunity to play a role in Center City’s continued revitalization.
According to a statement, the groundbreaking for the project is not expected for several years. If the proposal goes through, the Sixers say development will be complete in time for the 2031-32 NBA season.
The Sixers lease the Wells Fargo Center, where they have played since it opened in 1996. The lease at The Center ends in 2031.
The Wells Fargo Center is currently undergoing a $300 million renovation in hopes of keeping the Sixers.
An official at the Wells Fargo Center released a statement regarding the Sixers’ proposal:
We have had a great partnership with the Sixers for decades and look forward to hosting the team at this world-class facility through at least 2031,” the official said in the statement. “We, along with the City, Phillies and Eagles, have invested hundreds of millions to make the South Philadelphia Stadium District an incredible destination for sports, entertainment and our passionate fans. We believe it can rival anyone else in the nation and will continue to attract the best events – the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a perfect example.
The owners of the Fashion District Philadelphia also released a statement:
At Macerich, we continually improve our properties to provide greater value to our shareholders, retailers and community. The decision to repurpose a portion of the Philadelphia Fashion District to house the new 76ers arena is a natural evolution of the site and a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity for our company. We are committed to working with 76 Devcorp to bring to life the vision of this iconic development that will ensure Philadelphia’s vibrancy for generations to come.
Chinese Restaurant Association President Steven Zhu says sports arenas contribute nothing to the neighborhoods in which they are located.
“What has the NBA arena done in Washington DC’s Chinatown? It has reduced Chinatown from a residential area of thousands to a few restaurants, signs on Starbucks in Chinese and the Chinatown gate. We know that these big sports arenas don’t add to the neighborhoods they’re in; They only serve their own needs and profit,” Zhu said.
For more information on the proposal, see Click here.
CBS3’s Ross DiMattei and Howard Monroe contributed to this report.