Councilwoman Helen Gym is clutching her pearls and opposing the Sixers planned new arena at 11th and Market in Philly mag:
“I’m extremely skeptical.
“This is a vanity project for the Sixers.
“They just want to slap “76 Place” in the middle of Center City.
“Meanwhile, on the other side of Market Street you have hundreds of millions in tax breaks and lots of broken promises.
“This is a conversation about what you want Market Street to become.
“We need something that showcases the diversity of Philadelphia, our walkability, our culture, our small businesses and our families.
“And that will grow the city.”
And former mayoral candidate Sam Katz, an expert on municipal finance, has expressed skepticism too, based largely on the notion that if the Sixers build in any place but South Philly it will affect the viability of the sports complex.
Katz also believes there are economic barriers to the deal:
“The economics of a $1.5 billion one-team arena are silly,” Katz said in a email today.
“The Sixers aren’t stupid. They want to get the ball rolling.
“The last piece in the puzzle will be the revelation that this project will need $650 million-$800 million in public financing. This isn’t a ‘good for business’ project.”
But David Adelman, who is honchoing the project and recently bought Michael Rubin’s 10 percent of the team, is bullish in the Inky:
“Once we have our zoning, we have a project.
“Hopefully, by June, our goal is to have this wrapped up.”
Gym’s opposition to the project is largely based on the arena’s proximity to Chinatown, where Gym expects to do well in the May mayoral primary.
The last thing Philly needs is another anti-business mayor to go along with an anti-business newspaper like the Inky.
Gym should never be mayor.