76ers Ownership Wants To Build A Philadelphia Arena
In the it is never too early to plan ahead mode, the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, David Blitzer and Josh Harris, are eyeing a Philadelphia-area property as the future home of the team starting in 2031-32. The 76ers lease with the entity that controls the Philadelphia arena ends in 2031. The 76ers ownership plan is to develop a section of the Delaware River waterfront area by creating an arena-village and there is a claim that no direct public money would be used in building the arena. The growing trend in the stadium-arena building game is using the words no taxpayers’ money or no direct taxpayers’ money will be used in the project but that is never the case. The 76ers ownership is looking at creating a Neighborhood Improvement Zone which would be funded with money generated by city and Pennsylvania taxes garnered within the zone. Team ownership is making the claim that there will be a substantial economic benefit within the zone.
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 project would include an African-American Museum, a seaport museum, hotel and restaurants. The project is being sold as a job creator that needs some public assistance financially. That is how the arena-stadium game is played.