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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Philadelphia Black Leaders Show Support For 76ers’ Arena Plan

  • The team has committed to 40% of the concessionaires within the finished 76 Place to Black-owned food and drink operators.
  • It will use Black contractors — like Mosaic Development Partners — to build the project.
An artistic rendering of the new Center City arena and development for the Philadelphia 76ers
76 Devcorp

The Philadelphia 76ers’ proposed $1.3 billion arena got a major vote of confidence from one of the city’s core demographics — even as others continue to oppose it.

The African American Chamber of Commerce, as well as a collection of Black religious leaders from around the city, have come out in support of the Sixers’ plan to build a new arena and commercial center tentatively named 76 Place.

“We want to make sure that 76 Place reflects our culture, reflects our vibrancy, reflects our diversity,” said the 76ers’ chief diversity and impact officer, David Gould.

Part of the team’s commitment to those values means creating jobs and business development opportunities, which includes using Black contractors — like Mosaic Development Partners — to build the project.

The 76ers have also committed to 40% of the concessionaires within the finished 76 Place to Black-owned food and drink operators.

A general view of the Philadelphia 76ers playing at their current home arena, the Wells Fargo Center.

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However, not everyone is happy with the proposed project.

Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation publicly came out against 76 Place, citing the rapid decline of Chinese residents in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown after Capital One Arena opened in 1997.

Chinatown residents say the new arena would cause traffic and parking problems around the neighborhood, as well as diminish its cultural significance.

For their part, the 76ers have committed $50 million toward solving those logistical issues and preserving the neighborhood’s integrity.

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