76ers propose move to new Center City arena in the Fashion District, called ’76 Place’
Just last week, there were reports that residents in Philadelphia were given a push poll that asked for opinions on a potential locations for a new basketball arena for the 76ers.
Today, it was announced that one of those locations, the Philadelphia Fashion District, has been selected and officially named 76 Place at Market East.
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about the Sixers looking to move out of the Wells Fargo Center when their lease expires in 2031.
The Wells Fargo Center is owned by Comcast Spectator, who also own the Philadelphia Flyers. The 76ers are owned by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which the driving force in finding a new home.
“Wells Fargo Center is currently one of the oldest NBA arenas and by the time our lease expires in 2031, it will be 35 years old. Considering most arenas only remain in service for 30-40 years, the current location is not conducive to our vision of building a championship-level franchise for decades to come,” the organizers say.
“While we are thankful for the recent renovations made by Comcast Spectacor to improve the fan experience, these are typical for arenas that are 20 years old and will not significantly extend the life of the building.”
The location will be on Market Street between 10th and 11th street. The new construction would mean demolishing a block of the Fashion District Mall, formerly The Gallery, to make room for the new arena, and would be developed by 76 Devcorp, a partnership between the 76ers managing partners Josh Harris, David Blitzer and real estate developer and investor David Adelman.
76 Place Location:
In addition, 76 Devcorp is collaborating with Mosaic Development Partners, a Philadelphia-based real estate development company certified MBE (Minority Business Enterprise).
The new 76ers arena would be privately funded and is anticipated to cost $1.3 billion.
The developers are NOT seeking any funding from the city of Philadelphia. When the Philadelphia Phillies were considering new sites to build Citizens Bank Park, they floated around the idea of building the stadium downtown. That resulted in Chinatown businesses closing their doors and protesting the potential building plan.
Organizers say this project will not eliminate any residential homes or displace existing residents. They say they are aware of how past development efforts in Chinatown were opposed.
“The team is aware of those efforts and the threats they posed for the community, which is why this project is being approached differently. We are proposing to replace one entertainment complex with another, and will not displace any residents in Chinatown,” the developers say.
“Our pledge is to advance equitable, community-driven revitalization through this project and to ensure the arena is a win for fans, Philadelphia and the surrounding communities,” said David Gould, 76ers Chief Diversity and Impact Officer. “We look forward to listening to and working with the local community, including local organizations, businesses and residents, especially in Chinatown and Washington Square West, to develop a Community Benefits Agreement that results in long-term positive impact.”
“The 76ers are ready to bring a new, championship caliber arena back to the heart of Philadelphia. 76 Place is proposed as the new home of the Philadelphia 76ers, where we will build a new arena that is privately funded and developed in collaboration with the community. We are committed to working with local stakeholders to ensure the project supports the surrounding neighborhoods and promotes economic opportunity, inclusivity and accessibility.”
The 76ers say the project would be a “major economic driver for Philadelphians, creating jobs and contract opportunities during construction and after opening.”
According to the project team, the construction would create $1.9 billion of economic output and 9,000 jobs. The arena would bring $400 million of economic output annually and 1,000 jobs.
Construction is anticipated to start in 2027, they say, with completion in time for the 2031-2032 NBA Season.