By Peter Gleason

Comcast-Spectacor keeps insisting that its pie-in-the-sky plans for a $2.3 billion with a B expanded entertainment center in South Philly has nothing to do with the Sixers intention to build their own arena at 11th and Market.

Which is horseshit.

Of course, C-S is trying to keep the Sixers as an indentured tenant, as the Sixers have been for 54 years.

When the Sixers leave, there goes about 50 nights of sold out business, which is impossible to fill.

So, now C-S has rolled out plans for the proposed entertainment complex at the South Philadelphia sports stadiums including a new music hall that could seat up to 6,000 concertgoers.

Sixers co-owner and lead developer David Adelman says, no matter what, the team will not play in South Philadelphia after its lease expires in 2031.

Comcast Spectacor and the Sixers have battled over whether the region needs or can support a second arena the size of the Wells Fargo Center, which seats up to 19,600 for Flyers hockey and 21,000 for Sixers games and concerts.

The Sixers say their planned 18,500-seat arena would host about 150 events a year, bringing new entertainment to an underserved Philadelphia market and needed vitality to Market East.

Comcast Spectacor says few additional acts are to be found because every major show already plays the Wells Fargo Center, which annually hosts about 220 events. That figure includes about 90 regular and preseason Flyers and Sixers games, half of which would depart to Center City if a Sixers arena is built.

The Sixers announced plans for their new arena in July 2022.

And there has been lots of talk and precious little action since then.

It will be at least “several” more weeks before the city releases a pair of impact studies commissioned to help guide officials weighing the value of building a new Sixers arena in Center City.

Martine Decamp, interim executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, says that the highly anticipated analyses are still being finalized. She also said the studies need to be translated into multiple languages before they are released to the public, further extending the timeline for sharing the findings.

“It’s hard to give a final date,” Decamp said. “We’re getting closer and closer.”

Decamp’s comments came during the second and final city review of a draft “master plan” for the $1.55 billion project. The marathon hearing was held as stakeholders eagerly await the studies’ results, which will evaluate the privately funded arena’s community and economic impacts.

The studies were expected by the end of December. The city then announced the results would not be released until after the new year. Three months later, there is still no timeline for the release, making it unclear when any enabling legislation might be introduced in City Council.

“The deadline keeps getting pushed back because they’re very complicated studies and issues,” Decamp said.

City Councilmember Mark Squilla, whose district includes the proposed arena site, has said the impact studies will inform his decision to introduce enabling legislation for the project. He has also promised to share any legislation with community stakeholders at least 30 days before possible introduction.

The massive development cannot proceed without zoning approvals. The Sixers hope to start vertical construction in 2028 and open the new arena in 2031, the same year its lease expires at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia.

“If we are moving forward, [introduction] could possibly be in June but not sure,” said Squilla in an email.

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