PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers announced plans on Thursday to take the first steps to build a privately funded $1.3 billion sports and entertainment arena.
The team’s Managing Partners, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, unveiled the formation of a new development company, led by Managing Director David Adelman, to create his future home in the city’s Fashion District. They said the new arena, 76 Place, is expected to cost about $1.3 billion.
The location is in a busy downtown area with plenty of shopping and entertainment options, and close to popular Philadelphia destinations like Reading Terminal Market.
“The Philadelphia 76ers are a storied 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.
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The site was chosen primarily because of its access to transit, the press release said. The team also cited the “ability to redevelop an existing commercial space.”
But a coalition of members of the Chinatown community is organizing opposition to the project, which is set to be built about a block from the enclave.
“The proposed development would be another in a long history of attempts to downsize Chinatown,” said local business owner Xu Lin.
Groundbreaking is not expected for several years and the project is expected to be completed in time for the 2031-32 NBA season.
The Sixers have called the Wells Fargo Center home since it opened in 1996. “We have had an excellent partnership with the Sixers for decades and look forward to hosting the team at this world-class facility through at least 2031,” the arena’s owner told Comcast Spectacor in a statement Thursday.
The venue is also home to the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and hosts concerts.
Despite an ongoing $350 million interior and exterior renovation project at the arena, the Sixers want to go their own way.
“We are committed to ensuring that this development is a win for our fans and for Philadelphia as a whole,” Adelman said.