Expect the setting to look drastically different at Philadelphia 76ers games in the not-so-distant future.
Sixers managing partners announced on Thursday that a development group has been formed and will work toward building a privately-funded $1.3 billion stadium and entertainment center for the 76ers, with plans to build Philly’s home arena in Center City once the team’s lease runs up with Wells Fargo in 2031.
Titled “76 Place at Market East,” the project — spearheaded by 76ers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, and investor David Adelman — will be launched as a new inclusion to the Fashion District Mall in South Philadelphia.
“We are not seeking any funding from the City of Philadelphia,” announced the developers, who started the company “76 Devcorp” that will serve as lead on the new venue.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to build the future home of the 76ers in Center City,” Blitzer commented.
“The Philadelphia 76ers are a storied Philadelphia institution with a proven track record of investing in their community,” Harris said.
“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 ties within the local community through investments that prioritize equity, inclusivity and accessibility.”
The Wells Fargo Center has been open since 1996, serving as home to the Sixers and Philadelphia Flyers.
“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 investors noted.
A statement on behalf of Philly Mayor Jim Kenney saw the new venue as a great addition to Center City’s entertainment value.
“We’re looking forward to the development corporation, led by native Philadelphian David Adelman, leading a thoughtful engagement process, in collaboration with the community, that results in the best proposal – one that our entire City can get behind,” spokesman Kevin Lessard told NBC10.