The Philadelphia 76ers’ proposed $1.3 billion arena hasn’t been embraced by the city’s Chinatown community since it was first announced in July.
This week provided another reminder when a Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation survey found that more than 90% of business owners, residents, and visitors opposed the arena that would be built on the edge of the community.
“It’s disappointing when Market East is in the midst of economic decline and after our attempts to work with PCDC, that they would reach this decision without seeing our official proposal,” the 76ers said in a statement.
Opponents to the project point to what occurred in Washington’s Chinatown: What is now known as Capital One Arena — the home of the Wizards and Capitals that opened in 1997 — hastened the decline of the number of Chinese residents in the neighborhood.
Aside from affecting the Chinatown culture, other concerns include parking and traffic congestion as well as increasing rent.
The next several months will prove crucial as 76 Devcorp, helmed by billionaire 76ers limited partner David Adelman, seeks to allay those fears.
In a news release earlier this month, the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Union lauded the project, which could add 9,000 construction-related jobs to build the privately financed arena and 1,000 permanent jobs once it’s finished.
“It’s a rare opportunity when a development project the magnitude of the 76 Place Market East Arena comes along,” the union said.
If the project secures the necessary approvals, construction will begin in 2027 with the aim of opening in 2031.