By Chuck Powers

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, said Tuesday 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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