The owner and operator of Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center — home to both the NBA’s 76ers and NHL’s Flyers — has taken direct aim at the 76ers’ attempt to build a new downtown arena.
Responding to David Adelman’s appearance this week on the Front Office Sports Today podcast, Comcast Spectacor said the chair of the 76ers’ arena development project misstated key components of the ongoing facility debate, which has increasingly roiled both the two organizations and the city at large.
“Philadelphians deserve the facts, not mistruths and distortions being said about the new Wells Fargo Center, game and event scheduling, and more,” a Comcast Spectacor official told Front Office Sports.
Among the items under dispute is that Wells Fargo Center ranks “near the bottom in every major category” in an NBA fan satisfaction survey, according to Adelman. That league survey, obtained by Front Office Sports, indicates the current arena ranks 14th in the NBA on overall game experience satisfaction, and either matches or approaches overall league averages in several categories ranking arena operations and game experience.
Adelman also said Comcast Spectacor “scrapes” more than 200 calendar days per year at the arena for events and concerts beyond 76ers and Flyers games, a figure the company says is “neither true nor mathematically possible.”
Adelman did correctly say that 28 of 30 NBA teams play in downtown arenas, with only San Antonio’s newly renamed Frost Bank Center joining Wells Fargo Center outside its city center.
Comcast Spectacor has sought to counter Adelman’s plan with a $400 million renovation, as well as a supplemental development project at the sports complex in South Philadelphia to be announced later this year.
Adelman said the Wells Fargo Center improvements were “cosmetic” in nature, but the company argues that “nearly everything but the foundation, steel, and concrete has been replaced with state-of-the-art materials and amenities.”
The 76ers’ lease at Wells Fargo Center expires in 2031.