76ers Propose $1.3 Billion Arena In Downtown Philadelphia For 2031-2032 Season
The Philadelphia 76ers are one step closer to a downtown dream. The team announced Thursday that it was creating a new development company to propose a $1.3 billion arena in the heart of the city. Plans for the arena suggest that it could begin hosting 76ers basketball for the 2031-32 season.
Today we announced the site where we propose building our future home, @76Place at Market East.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 21, 2022
This is not the first time that owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer have tried to deliver a new venue since purchasing the team in 2011. The owners previously proposed building at Penn’s Landing on the east side of Philadelphia, but the city rejected the idea. This time, Harris and Blitzer recruited real estate developer David Adelman to run the new development company, known as 76 DevCorp.
In an interview with ESPN, Adelman described the proposed Sixers arena as a “legacy project.” As a Philadelphia native and diehard fan of the team, he said that it was important to provide for his city.
“My kids and grandkids will know that I revitalized a part of Market Street that was a little not living up to its full potential,” Adelman said.
Ownership, Adelman and Sixers President Tad Brown seem to agree that the purpose of the new arena will be to improve fans’ experience when going to games. Because the Wells Fargo Center is more secluded, there is little to do before or after sporting events. Putting a venue in downtown Philadelphia is supposed to integrate a fan’s experience into the existing nightlife of the city.
The nine-year gap between the formation of a development company and the team’s planned move is not incidental, as the 76ers’ current lease at the Wells Fargo Center does not end until 2031. The Sixers currently share their venue with the Philadelphia Flyers, but the NHL team has not yet joined in on new development plans. Though they are eager to begin work on the Sixers’ new home, no one involved in its development expressed any desire to leave the Wells Fargo Center before the lease ended.