Philadelphia 76ers announce plan for new $1.3 billion downtown arena

The Philadelphia 76ers are considering moving downtown.

The 76ers have announced plans for a new privately funded arena in the downtown fashion district. The new development, called 76 Place, is expected to cost around $1.3 billion.

“The Philadelphia 76ers are a legendary Philadelphia institution with a proven track record of investing in their community,” 76ers managing partner Josh Harris said in a statement. “That’s why we’re committed to building a world-class home in the heart of the city and creating a privately funded arena that strengthens connections within the local community through investments that prioritize equity, inclusiveness and accessibility.”

The 76ers currently play at the Wells Fargo Center, which is south of downtown right next to the Delaware River. This arena, which they shared with the Philadelphia Flyers, opened in 1996. It is one of the oldest arenas in the league.

The current plan for the new arena will demolish a block of a mall located at 10th and Market Streets. This block sits at a key transit site in the city, as a metro station, SEPTA station and PATCO station are all within walking distance.

The project has construction beginning in 2028 and will open when the 76ers’ current lease at the Wells Fargo Center expires in 2031. It’s unclear whether the new site will also host the Flyers. Philadelphia is also on a shortlist as a potential WNBA expansion city.

The team said it would provide economic output of $1.9 billion during construction and $400 million annually once open.

“We’re going to have our own Madison Square Garden,” but newer, with a “world-class team in a shiny new arena,” apartment developer David Adelman, who is partnering with the 76ers, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 76ers are the second team in the league to make plans for a new arena. The Los Angeles Clippers are currently building the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, Calif., next to SoFi Stadium — which will take them out of their joint home with the Lakers at Arena in 2024.

The new Philadelphia 76ers arena is set to open in 2031. (AP/Matt Slocum, File)