There will be professional basketball in New Jersey once again — at least, that is, for practice. The Philadelphia 76ers will look to build a 120,000 square foot practice facility along the riverfront in Camden. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, construction is expected to start in October and be basketball-ready by June of 2016. When plans for a facility in the Philadelphia Navy Yard fell through, New Jersey was ready to snap up the Sixers — manifested today in an $82 million grant approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Mayor Michael Nutter told the AP that New Jersey was "literally throwing money at the 76ers" and that "sometimes that might be a little tough to turn down" after Philadelphia officials had shown the team officials multiple sites within city limits. The $82 million is spread out over ten years in the form of tax credits and will cover the cost of construction for the facility.
Interestingly, the facility was originally rumored to be closer to the Ben Franklin Bridge adjacent to Campbell's Field. However, we now know that it will be located on a four-acre plot of land owned by the Camden Parking Authority on the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Delaware Avenue — between Adventure Aquarium and the Susquehanna Bank Center, east of Wiggins Park. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will lease the land to the Sixers. According to reports from The Inquirer, they will construct "a 60,000-square-foot practice facility and a connected three-story commercial building with 60,000 square feet for business operations and offices."
· Report: 76ers to build N.J. facility [ESPN]
· N.J. approves $82M for Sixers facility in Camden [The Inquirer]
· Sixers consider building practice center in Camden [The Inquirer]
· Sixers $82M grant approved; will cover full cost of Camden practice facility [PHL Biz Journal]