The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers are on the rebound. After being called “one of the worst teams” in league history a few short years ago, the 76ers currently sit in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings. Additionally, the team recently announced plans to build a 140,000-square-foot multi-purpose sports and youth training complex in Wilmington, Del. — located about 30 miles from Philly.
Scheduled to open in late 2018, 76ers Fieldhouse will boast three full-size professional basketball courts, two indoor turf soccer fields, a sports performance and athletic training area, and retail and office spaces. The facility, with a seating capacity of 2,500, also likely will be home to the Sixers’ NBA G League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers.
The plan is to host high school, AAU and travel soccer, basketball and volleyball teams at the venue.
“The No. 1 priority was to do something that was great for the 76ers and great for the brand of the 76ers,” Chris Heck, the Sixers’ president of business operations, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “But to extend that, to be able to make this a passion product as well for the kids in the community is really enjoyable.”
Indeed, the privately funded 76ers Fieldhouse — in partnership with the Buccini/Pollin Group, a Wilmington-based real estate developer — will offer programming designed to benefit thousands of underserved youth by focusing on physical fitness, nutrition and wellness, in addition to basketball skills training and development. The 76ers are referring to the facility as “a beacon for youth sports in Delaware.”
“The new sports facility will be among the finest in the country for a city our size,” Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki said in a statement. “[It] will be an outstanding venue for the Delaware sports-hungry public. This also answers our residents’ call for healthy options for our kids. Wilmington’s children will be primary beneficiaries of the many levels of programming provided by this magnificent facility.”
A formal groundbreaking will take place in early 2018.