PCDC strike a discordant note on Sixers’ digs


76ers arena facing a pushback Image: NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) team Philadelphia 76ers’ (US) proposed $1.3 billion arena hasn’t been embraced by the City’s Chinatown community since it was first announced in July last year.

‘YARDBARKER’ stated that recently, another reminder was provided when a Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) (social service organization) survey found that more than 90 percent of business owners, residents and visitors opposed the arena that would be built on the edge of the community.

The Philadelphia 76ers, colloquially known as the Sixers, is an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area (US). The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at the Wells Fargo Center located in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.

The 21,000-capacity Wells Fargo Center is a multipurpose indoor arena located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US. It serves as the home of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League.

The team announced in July 2022 that it intends to complete development of a new arena called ‘76 Place’ in Philadelphia’s Center City by the start of the 2031-2032 NBA seasons. The Sixers’ lease at the Wells Fargo Center ends in 2031. It has been their home venue since the arena opened in 1996.

The 76ers said in a statement, “It’s disappointing when Market East is in the midst of economic decline and after our attempts to work with the PCDC that they would reach this decision without seeing our official proposal.”

‘YARDBARKER’ further stated that opponents to the project point to what occurred in Washington’s Chinatown: What is now known as the 20,356-capacity Capital One Arena – the home of the NBA team Washington Wizards and the National Hockey League (NHL) team Washington 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 the 76 Devcorp, helmed by billionaire 76ers limited partner David Adelman, seeks to allay those fears.

However, 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.”

If the project secures the necessary approvals, construction will begin in 2027 with the aim of opening in 2031.

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