The process of building an arena is iterative. The information we’re sharing is in part in response to feedback we’ve heard over the last year. We hope this project update deck and the “You Asked, We Answered” information is informative and also encourages more feedback for us to integrate into the final proposal.
YOU ASKED, WE ANSWERED
Why do the 76ers need a new arena?
- In 2031, Wells Fargo Center will be one of the oldest arenas in the NBA. Older buildings come with challenges, and we would like to have a modern home for our players, fans, and eventgoers.
- Because we don’t own the Wells Fargo Center, we have constraints as a tenant that impact our team and business.
- For example, we have very little control over available dates for 76ers games. As a result, most years we are at the top of the league in the number of times we either have back-to-back games or play five times in a seven-day period. That tough schedule with little opportunity for rest impacts our players, our competitiveness, and an ability to bring a championship back to Philadelphia.
Does Philadelphia need a second arena?
- Our city is missing out on events because we only have one arena. Philadelphia was once home to two arenas — The Wells Fargo Center and The Spectrum — and had the demand to support both.
- The Wells Fargo Center is booked up most of the year with Flyers games, Sixers games, and concerts. As a result, we host far fewer events than would be expected for a market like Philadelphia (according to Pollstar).
- Finally, we are one of the largest markets without two arenas; regions smaller than us (e.g., Miami, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul) are able to support two. By building a second arena, we bring more events, more economic activity, and more tax revenue to our city.
Why was Fashion District Philadelphia selected as the site of the arena? Why don’t the 76ers build an arena in South Philadelphia?
- Almost all new arenas are built downtown because they are able to support revitalization and economic activity. Philly is one of only two NBA cities without a downtown arena.
- Market East needs a big investment, it is dealing with a struggling mall and boarded up retail.
- Center City is far more accessible — the site is connected to nine times as many transit stops as Wells Fargo Center, which is only connected to the Broad Street Line. The new site would be connected to PATCO, Regional Rail, the Market Frankford Line, and the Broad Street Line. It also allows people to walk to the game from work if they are already in Center City.
- A downtown arena allows people to support local businesses and support our tax base by getting a meal or drink (Chinatown, Reading Terminal, Midtown, etc.) before or after the game, whereas right now the only option is Xfinity Live!.
How will an arena fit in Center City?
- The site will use the existing footprint of 1/3 of the Fashion District Mall (formerly the Gallery) and the Greyhound station. It will span from 10th to 11th Streets and Market to Cuthbert Streets.
- There are many examples of successful urban arenas on similar or even smaller footprints, including: Barclay Center, TD Garden, and Madison Square Garden.
Are you displacing residents and businesses?
- No, by building the arena on this site we will not directly displace a single resident nor small business.
Are the 76ers requesting any funding from the City of Philadelphia?
- No, we are not asking for any City funding to build the arena. The $1.3B arena will be privately funded, as we believe projects of this nature shouldn’t use scarce city resources.
- To this day, arenas are often heavily subsidized with public funds. Some cities are spending upwards of ~$800M in public funding just to keep a team in their city. That approach is simply not acceptable in Philadelphia and is in stark contrast to our commitment to the City and fans.
Why is this project good for Philadelphia?
- It will revitalize a struggling section of Market Street — one that used to be the center of commerce for Philadelphia.
- It is privately funded, so will not take away from, but instead will add to the tax base.
- We are investing upwards of $50M in community benefits, creating job opportunities for minority and underrepresented communities and ensuring the project supports and preserves the surrounding communities instead of threatening them.
How will the 76ers protect and preserve Chinatown?
- One of the reason’s we’ve pledged to create the largest Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) in the city’s history is because we know we need to invest to make this project a win for everyone.
- Based on numerous conversations with local stakeholders, there are consistent themes that need to be addressed to ensure businesses and community stakeholders in Chinatown benefit and are not harmed.
- Which programs we invest in through the CBA will be informed by continued conversations with community leaders as well as studies that the City is commissioning, but we believe the areas of focus will include:
- Managing traffic and enhancing access to affordable parking access for residents, employees, and patrons of Chinatown.
- Funding public safety and street cleaning services (on both game days and non-game days).
- Preserving affordability for businesses and residents — including building affordable housing.
- Promoting local businesses to our fans by creating space for them to operate in the arena and subsidizing discounts for fans to spend money in the neighborhood.
How will people get to the arena?
- Preliminary analysis projects that half of our fans will get to the arena by public transit or walking.
- Taking the train to 76 Place will be 42 minutes quicker on average than driving to Wells Fargo Center, and we will partner with SEPTA to incentivize ridership and help make trips comfortable and safe.
- Those that prefer to drive can park in the more than 5,600+ spaces available during event times, which exceeds anticipated parking demand.
How is the arena being designed to bring vibrancy to Market East?
- On event days and non-event days, there will be plenty to do at 76 Place.
- We expect to host about 150 events per year — including 76ers games and concerts — which will bring activity to Market Street.
- Even on non-game days, the site will be a destination with new street-facing retail and restaurants just like any other street in Center City.
How can I learn more about the project?
We expect to have additional information about our proposal in the coming months. To stay up to date, visit www.76place.com.