Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment on Wednesday announced a partnership with The Buccini/Pollin Group, Philadelphia 76ers and the City of Wilmington to announce the construction of a 140,000-square-foot, multi-purpose sports complex and youth training center in Wilmington which will be named “76ers Fieldhouse”. This facility will be built on an 8.9 acre parcel of land off U.S. Route 13 and Garasches Lane in Wilmington, Delaware. The cost of the sports complex is estimated at $26 million dollars.
The field house will be the new home of the 76ers G affiliate the Delaware 87ers, the 87ers will be able to host about 2,500 fans for home games starting in the 2018-2019 season. The 87ers will also be getting re- branded with the move to the field house.
The Delaware 87ers have been playing their home games at University Of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center since 2013. Their contract with University of Delaware was set to expire this year.
It has been known the 87ers have not been able to attract the locals to come to the games.
“Newark hasn’t been a great location for them,” Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki told Delaware NewsJournal’s Kevin Tresolini . “Here in the city we don’t have a team we can adopt as our own. I think we’ll get a better response out of our citizenry.”
“I want to give credit to BPG because most likely we would not have been able to stay in the state of Delaware,” 76ers President Chris Heck told Delaware NewsJournal’s Kevin Tresolini. “This gives us a solution we said we were looking for as UD is focused on its own programs, so it gave an opportunity to stay in Delaware and really get a restart right when the big-league team is taking off, so our timing is impeccable.”
According to the 76ers site the field house will have “three full-size professional basketball courts, two indoor turf soccer fields, a world-class sports performance and athletic training area, as well as retail and office space, this dynamic new facility will also serve as a beacon for youth sports in Delaware.”
It sounds like this facility will add more competition to the youth sports facility complexes in Delaware with the 76ers describe on their site:
“The 76ers Fieldhouse establishes a first-class destination for thousands of hours of youth basketball, soccer, volleyball, and other sport competitions and athletic training sessions each year. Additionally, this privately-funded facility will feature programming designed to benefit thousands of underserved youth annually by leveraging the powerful platform of sports. These programs will be centered around physical fitness, nutrition and wellness, in addition to basketball skills training and development.”
“It’s going to be a beacon of light for these kids, a real place that kids can go and enjoy and be a part of,” Steve Cavalier, executive director of the Wilmington-based Future Stars Soccer Foundation told Delaware NewsJournal’s Kevin Tresolini, which involves nearly 150 children ages 6 to 14.
There a two tenants already signed on to offer services at the 76ers Fieldhouse and they are TITUS who will bring its performance training center to the complex and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children part of the Nemours Children’s Health System, which will bring its advanced Sports Medicine capabilities, including pediatric orthopedics and sports physical therapy, to the facility.
Also, According to the Sixers they will ” leverage its sales and sponsorship expertise to secure unique partnerships for 76ers Fieldhouse, including naming rights partners.”
Delaware. gov reports that The Buccini/Pollin Group will manage the development and construction of the facility on the site, which is currently owned by the Riverfront Development Corporation and sits at the foot of the new Christina River Bridge that will connect both banks of the Christina Riverfront.
The Buccini/Pollin Group currently have assets that have a value in excess of $4 billion, including 40 hotels, six million square feet of office and retail space, 10 major residential communities, and multiple entertainment venues, including Talen Energy Stadium, home of the Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.
The ground breaking ceremony for 76ers Fieldhouse is being planned for the first quarter of 2018 and 87ers fans can start looking for season ticket deposit campaign early next year.
The field house is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018, just in time for the 87ers 2018-2019 season.
The Delaware 87ers will join the Wilmington Blue Rocks ( Kansas City Royals affiliate) in Wilmington, Delaware next year.
Here is what some the major players in this deal said of the new complex coming to Wilmington, Delaware:
76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck:
“The Philadelphia 76ers are truly the Delaware Valley’s team, and we’re fortunate to have an incredible fanbase across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. We are thrilled to partner with BPG on 76ers Fieldhouse in Delaware to serve as home to both our NBA G League team and hundreds of youth teams and athletes each year,” 76ers President Chris Heck said. “We’ve set out to create a facility in a city on the rise like Wilmington for our NBA G League team that furthers the 76ers’ commitment to being leaders in sports performance and athlete care. We’re fortunate to partner with a group as respected and accomplished as BPG to reach this goal, while also bringing these amenities to youth teams and athletes in this area. With the support of Delaware Governor John Carney, Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki and our fans across the state, we’re excited to further demonstrate our commitment to Delaware by launching 76ers Fieldhouse.”
Delaware Governor John Carney:
“This announcement by the 76ers organization confirms again that Wilmington is a great place for companies to invest, expand, and grow,” said Governor John Carney. “We couldn’t be more excited to help announce the new 76ers Fieldhouse, which will bring an NBA G League team to our city, and help connect development along the banks of the Christina River. Importantly, this facility will create jobs, expand opportunities for kids in Wilmington to participate in sports activities, and attract even more visitors to our great state. Thank you to the 76ers organization and the Buccini/Pollin Group for their commitment to Delaware, and their continued partnership.”
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki:
“We are proud to welcome the 76ers and their G league team to the City of Wilmington. The new sports facility will be among the finest in the country for a city our size. This fieldhouse, larger than the Chase Center, will be an outstanding venue for the Delaware sports hungry public,” states Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “This also answers our residents call for healthy options for our kids. Wilmington’s children will be primary beneficiaries of the many levels of programming provided by this magnificent facility. Our gratitude to Buccini/Pollin and the 76ers organization for placing their faith in our great city.”
Megan McGlinchey, Executive Director of the RDC
“This new facility will be the impetus for the development we have envisioned on the East bank of the Christina River,” says Megan McGlinchey, Executive Director of the RDC. “The location delivers an excellent gateway into Wilmington and the Riverfront. Plus, we are thrilled that the Delaware 87ers will now join the growing list of successful family-friendly attractions already located here.”