The Philadelphia 76ers have released the renderings of 76 Place, the privately-financed arena the team plans to open by 2031, costing $1.3 billion. The proposed arena will have a $1.9 billion economic impact on Philadelphia and bring 9,100 construction-related jobs.
Despite the 76ers saying that its new arena would cost zero dollars for Philadelphia taxpayers, the proposal to build on Market Street in downtown Philly has been met with opposition from the city’s Chinatown community amid concerns that the new stadium would lead to the displacement of the neighborhood’s longtime residents and cause traffic problems.
Philadelphia’s government announced in April that it would conduct an independent study into the impacts of the proposed arena, which would be self-funded by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, owner of the NBA’s 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils. CBL Real Estate, a firm lobbying for the 76ers arena, recently settled with Philadelphia’s Ethics Board to pay a $4,000 fine for failing to disclose its lobbying to city officials.
The 76ers current stadium lease in South Philly runs through 2031 at Wells Fargo Center, owned by Comcast and hosts the NHL’s Flyers and National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings.
Community organizers planned an “Anti-Arena March and Rally” from Philadelphia’s Chinatown and Center City through City Hall on Saturday.
“Communities of color across Philadelphia recognize what three billionaires are trying to do in Chinatown because we have seen these land grabs in Black, Latino, and immigrant communities across our city,” UPenn professor Walter Palmer said in a statement. “On Saturday, we’re showing Philadelphia’s fierce resistance to those who seek to tear apart communities and disrupt and distort the heart of our city in their boundless drive for profits. There will be no arena in the heart of Philadelphia.”