Perhaps looking to generate both excitement and support, the Philadelphia 76ers released the first renderings of their proposed new arena, reports FrontOfficeSports.
This as hundreds of Philadelphians Saturday plan to march from 10th and Vine Street to City Hall to proclaim their opposition to the plan which they say will displace both Chinatown residents and small businesses, cause traffic congestion and parking problems and tear apart the 150-year-old Chinatown.
The drawings give fans a glimpse of what they can expect should the arena open as scheduled in 2031.
“The images…are some of the early concepts that start to build on some of the discussions and feedback we’ve had with people in the community and with others about how to think differently about an arena that’s going to be in 2031 and beyond,” said Jordan Goldstein of the architectural firm, Gensler.
Opponents of the plans say three billionaires are forcing their will on the people of Philadelphia for their own personal gain.
“If billionaire developers are left unchecked, so many of Philly’s gems would be replaced with unnecessary and wasteful projects that serve the financial interests of a handful of rich men instead of everyday people who build community. Saturday is about having a voice in the future of our city, and Philly is clearly saying ‘no arena,’ said Sarun Chan, Executive Director of the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia and Community Cultivator of the Southeast Asian Market at FDR Park said in a statement.
Saturday’s protest starts at 11 and is expected to force the closure of several streets.
“Communities of color across Philadelphia recognize what three billionaires are trying to do in Chinatown, because we have seen these land grabs in Black, Latino, and immigrant communities across our city. On Saturday we’re showing Philadelphia’s fierce resistance to those who seek to tear apart communities and disrupt and distort the heart of our city in their boundless drive for profits. There will be no arena in the heart of Philadelphia,” said Walt Palmer who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.
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