Just hours after we finally received confirmation of James Harden’s new contract with the Sixers, we got some more unexpected news. The Sixers made a major announcement on Thursday morning that they are planning to build a new arena, 76 Place, that will be in Center City at the current site of Fashion District Philadelphia.
Josh Harris and David Blitzer have also announced the creation of a new development company, 76 Devcorp, which will be responsible for developing the new arena. The development company will be led by chairman David Adelman, a lifelong Sixers fan and real estate developer.
Josh Harris said the following, via the team’s press release:
“The Philadelphia 76ers are a storied Philadelphia institution with a proven track record of investing 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 ties within the local community through investments that prioritize equity, inclusivity and accessibility,” said Josh Harris, 76ers Managing Partner. “David Adelman shares our vision for ensuring that the new arena is an anchoring force in the local community, creating well-paying jobs and economic opportunities for those who need them most.”
One of the best parts about this new $1.3 billion arena is that it’s completely privately funded.
As the team mentioned in their press release, one of the reasons for choosing this location is that it’s easily accessible by public transport:
76 Devcorp carefully evaluated numerous potential sites before determining Fashion District Philadelphia as its preferred location. The site was selected primarily due to it being the most transit-rich location in all of Philadelphia, the ability to redevelop an existing commercial space, and the opportunity to play a role in the continued revitalization of Center City.
Of course, there may be a change for people who typically drive to games. It may be more awkward now, especially if the nearest car parks get overly crowded on game days, but the new arena will be more accessible by public transport.
As you can see from the FAQs on the new 76 Place website, the area was chosen with public transport in mind as the main method to travel to games. They do also point out that 29 car parks are within a half mile of the arena:
We envision this project as a site that relies on public transit, similar to the shifts downtown arenas have seen in other cities, as the arena will have a direct connection to over 200 stations, which is 9X more than the Wells Fargo Center. For those who chose to drive, the site is within a ½ mile radius of 29 parking garages operating with significant spare capacity. These garages are spread out from each other, which helps spread out traffic and limits congestion.
“Quite simply put, there is no better place to build an arena in Philadelphia than in Center City, with its robust public transit infrastructure and existing dynamic businesses eager to serve fans and visitors alike,” Adelman said, per the team’s release. “76 Devcorp is inspired by many successful sports and entertainment arenas built in dense urban centers that promote integration with the surrounding communities. We’re dedicated to making sure this development is a win for our fans and Philadelphia at large.”
This is pretty exciting news. There will just (understandably) be a long wait before this new chapter for the Sixers begins, as the arena is expected to be built and ready in time for the 2031-32 NBA season.