Camden could become home to the Philadelphia 76ers’ new practice facility and administrative offices, according to a published report.The Philadelphia Inquirer reported late Wednesday that the NBA team was considering a site on Camden’s waterfront, while continuing to play its games across the Delaware River at the Wells Fargo Center. The story on philly.com cited two sources within the Sixers’ organization and four Camden city officials, who were not authorized to speak directly about the prospect of the new facility.
Sixers CEO Scott O’Neill confirmed in an email to the Inquirer that New Jersey was under consideration. O’Neill is also CEO of the New Jersey Devils after the Sixers’ ownership group acquired the NHL team last summer.
“We are continuing to do our due diligence regarding this project and are looking at a number of sites for our training center, which includes several locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” O’Neill said.
A source told the Inquirer the site being considered in Camden is adjacent to Campbell’s Field.
The report said the team has rented practice space in the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in West Philadelphia since 1999, but has been looking for a site to build its own training center. Previous plans to build a new facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard fell through in April.
The report said the Camden proposal was supposed to appear on the May agenda of the state Economic Development Authority, but was removed because the team needed to go back to the NBA for approvals.
The EDA’s next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 10 at Camden’s Waterfront Technology Center.
Picking Camden could yield major financial benefits for 76ers ownership group. The state’s business and development incentives were overhauled last year under the Economic Opportunity Act; one key change was to create generous subsidies for Camden as state officials push to revitalize the South Jersey city.
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