The Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team is exploring the possibility of building a new arena, but has insisted that any project would not be seriously considered in the immediate future.
The Sixers currently share the Wells Fargo Center (pictured) with NHL ice hockey franchise the Philadelphia Flyers. The arena is owned by Comcast Spectacor and the team’s lease at the facility is due to expire in 2031.
News of the Sixers’ plans for a potential new arena was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, which revealed that the team has pinpointed the Penn’s Landing area of the city as a possible spot for any new facility.
The team confirmed that it was “studying the idea” of building a new arena at Penn’s Landing but no significant progress is expected to be made any time soon. A spokesperson told the Inquirer that the team is exploring all options but emphasised that the Sixers have “long enjoyed a strong relationship” with Comcast Spectacor.
The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Business Journal, citing a planning document shared by an industry source, reported that the Sixers would look to fund a new arena through the Neighbourhood Improvement Zone programme, and that “no direct appropriation” of taxpayer money would be needed.
The document stated that a new arena could provide “billions of dollars in net new revenue” for Philadelphia, create thousands of new jobs, create new schools, parks and an African-American museum at Penn’s Landing and be the driving force behind the investment of “unprecedented funds” in minority-owned businesses.
Existing plans to transform Penn’s Landing have previously been laid out by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
Both the Sixers and the Flyers have played at Wells Fargo Center since it opened in 1996 and the arena has recently undergone a series of renovations as part of plans to enhance the fan experience.