HomeAsian AmericansStudents protest against 76er arena in Chinatown, Philadelphia

Students protest against 76er arena in Chinatown, Philadelphia

A group of students rallied against the Philadelphia 76ers’ proposed arena in Chinatown Friday.

The group called on Penn to remove developer David Adelman and Sixers co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer as trustees, according to CBS News.

Executives announced plans to build the stadium back in July 2022. The announcement was immediately met with criticism from the Chinatown community who said they had not been consulted. The 76ers have met with community leaders since the initial backlash but protests have continued.

The proposed arena, called 76 Place, would be located in part of the Fashion District Mall from 10th to 11th Streets on Market Street. It would sit right on the edge of Chinatown next to businesses and homes. 

The Sixers say they chose a location near Chinatown because it sits in the center of Philadelphia’s public transportation hub. They hope to revitalize the area’s economy.

The Sixers also released the following statements regarding to the conflict, according to CBS News:

Firstly, the arena will not be built in Chinatown; this project will be built in the Fashion District at Market East, a location that was once the center of commerce for Philadelphia for 100 years, on a site that has been a mall for nearly 50 years. Furthermore, in addition to committing $50 million to improve, strengthen and enhance communities around Market East – the largest community benefits agreement in the history of our city – and create jobs for Philadelphians across the city, we have been aggressively pursuing solutions to improve commerce, transit, safety, cleanliness and vibrance, to what has historically been one of the most important hubs in all of Philadelphia, but one that has been struggling for years.

Chinatown residents continued to oppose the proposal and wanted to show how 76 Place would directly them.

“We are still the small guy here and we got to do what we can,” President of the Philadelphia Suns, Harry Leong, told CBS. “This is about community. Not about money.”

According to Leong, the effects of the 76 Place, which include parking, traffic, and over-development, will destroy their everyday lives and culture. 

“You can be a block away and still have a major impact,”Leong told CBS.  “When you push the community members out whether businesses, whether residences, then you destroy the culture of the community.  The culture comes with the people.”

To continue the fight, business and community leaders formed the “Chinatown Coalition to Oppose the Arena”.

“We are ready to unite this entire city to fight this proposal,” a representative of the Chinatown Coalition to Oppose the Arena said. 

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