Yet another attempt to build a Philadelphia basketball arena.
The National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers ownership has decided being a tenant in the Comcast run South Philadelphia arena is not something it wants to do after the 2031 season. The 76ers ownership is now looking to build an arena within the city by 2031 when its lease is up and ownership wants to build a privately-funded $1.3 billion sports and entertainment arena in the city’s Fashion District. But there is more, 76ers ownership wants to build an arena-village. The site was selected primarily due to its access to transit according to a team statement but there is one other thing. The ownership may have the “ability to redevelop an existing commercial space.”
This is not the first time that 76ers ownership has tried to build an arena-village in the Philadelphia area. In 2020, the 76ers ownership wanted to build an arena in the waterfront area at Penn’s Landing but the proposal was rejected by the Delaware River Front Corporation. The Blitzer-Harris group has had problems in their relationship with the Comcast-controlled arena over the years. This is not the first time that a Philadelphia 76ers owner has tried to build an arena without the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers involvement. In December 1993, then owner Harold Katz was ready to cross the Delaware and move his team to Camden, New Jersey near the Ben Franklin Bridge which connects New Jersey to Philadelphia. Eventually Philadelphia political officials did pave the way for a new arena to be built on the south side of the city. Katz sold his team to Comcast in 1996. In 2011, the Harris-Blitzer group bought the 76ers. The 76ers ownership denied rumors that they were going to take the team to Newark, New Jersey after getting the franchise. Harris and Blitzer own the NHL’s Newark-based New Jersey Devils. The chase for a Philadelphia arena continues.
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