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Philadelphia to Study Proposed $1.3B Arena Before Moving Forward

  • The independent study will examine impacts on urban planning, parking, and traffic.
  • Philadelphia's Asian and Black communities are divided on support for the proposed arena.
A general view of the Philadelphia 76ers playing at their current home arena, the Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia’s government is conducting an independent study to evaluate the impact of the 76ers’ self-funded proposal to build a new $1.3 billion arena. 

Officials will examine the economic impact of the proposed arena — on Market Street between 10th and 11th streets — as well as study other potential effects on urban planning, parking, and traffic.

A recent survey found more than 90% of business owners, and residents in Philadelphia’s Chinatown opposed the Sixers’ attempt to build an arena near the neighborhood amid concerns over rising rents and the loss of its culture. 

Philadelphia’s African American Chamber of Commerce has voiced support for the proposed 76ers arena, citing the economic growth it could bring to the city. The 76ers also said it is committed to giving 40% of the arena’s concessions spaces to Black-owned businesses.

Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown saw a decline in Chinese population following the opening of Capital One Arena in 1997.

“Given the size and scope of this proposed project, it is too early in the process to know the specific impacts of the proposed downtown arena,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.

Kenney didn’t specify who would be leading the independent study, leaving some local residents to voice further concerns during Wednesday’s meeting in Chinatown. 

Construction would begin in 2028, with a targeted opening date in 2031. 

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