Design & Development

Phillies join Comcast Spectacor’s $2.5bn mixed-use vision

Phase two of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex masterplan

Featured image credit: Philadelphia Phillies

Phase two of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex masterplan

Featured image credit: Philadelphia Phillies

MLB franchise the Philadelphia Phillies has teamed up with Comcast Spectacor on the mixed-use development the sports and entertainment company is planning in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.

The two organisations yesterday (Thursday) said they would collaborate over the next several years to make the destination a “world-class, live-work-play sports and entertainment district”. The scheme is expected to be a 10-year project, with a price tag of $2.5bn (£1.99bn/€2.31bn).

Phase one of the development, first revealed last month, will involve lots located between Pattison Avenue and the Wells Fargo Center, the arena which Comcast Spectacor owns and already has development rights.

This phase will include a new, mid-sized concert venue, hotel, retail shops and an outdoor plaza, as well as upgrades to the Xfinity Live! dining and entertainment complex. Phase one is expected to be completed in 2028.

Phase two will involve additional development around Wells Fargo Center and will expand north of Pattison Avenue to lots currently controlled by the Phillies from Broad Street to Citizens Bank Park, the MLB club’s home stadium.

The concept for this phase envisions another hotel, residential units, more retail, restaurants, office space and significant green space. It also will include a dedicated ‘Phillies Plaza’ adjacent to Citizens Bank Park that will provide gathering spaces and immersive experiences for fans.

The two companies will be partnering to seek approvals and the necessary development rights from the City of Philadelphia for phase two and said they will work closely with the local community as plans progress.

John Middleton, managing partner and CEO of the Philadelphia Phillies, said: “When I think about what makes Philadelphia unique, it’s our incredible fan base and tight-knit community. This project focuses on expanding that community and bringing in more residents, workers and visitors.

“With the creation of new spaces and experiences, Philadelphians and visitors will have more opportunities to celebrate the passion and pride we have for our city and our teams.”

Dan Hilferty, chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, added: “John Middleton and the Phillies share a big and bold dream for what the future could look like for Philadelphia.

“John’s input and support of the vision has been so valuable from the very early stages, and our partnership with the Phillies will strengthen the ongoing growth and revitalisation of the South Philadelphia community.”

Yesterday’s announcement adds another layer of intrigue to the plans being pursued by the Philadelphia 76ers, the NBA franchise which currently calls Wells Fargo Center home alongside Comcast Spectacor-owned NHL team the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Sixers announced plans to build a new arena in July 2022, with a dedicated company set up to oversee the project. The $1.3bn arena, which will be privately funded, has been given the provisional name of 76 Place and would form part of the Fashion District Philadelphia.

Comcast Spectacor is opposing the Sixers’ plan to move to the new arena in 2031 and in October launched a new marketing campaign to promote the $400m transformation of Wells Fargo Center, which recently completed.

At the time of unveiling their new arena plans, the Sixers said they were “thankful” for the renovations being carried out at Wells Fargo Center by Comcast Spectacor, but claimed these improvements were “typical for arenas that are 20 years old and will not significantly extend the life of the building”.