After the Philadelphia 76ers announced their intention to move to a new arena in Center City, some wonder about the NBA team’s current home. The 76ers have played at the Wells Fargo Center for the past 26 seasons. Who owns the arena, and are the 76ers obligated to keep playing there?
The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia hosts plenty of big-time musical acts, including Michael Bublé and Bruce Springsteen, as well as Philadelphia’s professional sports teams. The Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers, and Wings all play at the Wells Fargo Center. However, the teams themselves don’t own the arena.
Comcast Spectacor owns the Wells Fargo Center
Comcast Spectacor, an entertainment and sports company based in Philadelphia, currently owns the Wells Fargo Center. The company’s other subsidiaries are the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, the ECHL's Maine Mariners, the National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings, and the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion. Comcast Spectacor also previously owned the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as a former arena in South Philadelphia, the Spectrum.
Ed Snider was the founder of Comcast Spectacor
Ed Snider founded Spectacor in 1974, and in 1996, he sold a 63 percent stake of the company to Comcast. However, upon that sale, Snider stayed in the position of chairman of the renamed Comcast Spectacor. The company also bought the Philadelphia 76ers soon after that.
In 2011, the team was sold to billionaire Joshua Harris, founder of Apollo Global Management. Founder Ed Snider died in 2016, and in the same year, Comcast bought the remainder of Comcast Spectacor.
Comcast Spectacor owns entertainment venue company Spectra
Comcast Spectacor also owns Spectra, which runs hundreds of sports and live entertainment venues across the U.S. and Canada. A few of its arenas include:
The Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, N.J.
Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, Canada.
FargoDome in Fargo, N.D.
The Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
In 2021, Spectra was acquired by Oak View Group. Spectra’s headquarters remained in Philadelphia following the transaction, while OVG kept its headquarters in Los Angeles.
When will the 76ers move out of the Wells Fargo Center in Philly?
On July 21, the 76ers announced plans to build a new stadium in Philadelphia’s Center City. Sports Illustrated reported that its projected cost is $1.3 billion, with an expected overall economic output of $1.9 billion ($400 million annually).
David Adelman has been named leader of the new arena project. He’s CEO of Campus Apartments, co-founder of FS Investments, and founder of Darco Capital. Adelman said the new location was chosen based on its “robust public transit infrastructure and existing dynamic businesses eager to serve fans and visitors alike.”
According to Sports Illustrated, the project is being privately funded by a newly created company, 76 Devcorp, which will also run the new arena once it’s completed. A press release about the new arena described how the company plans to engage and incorporate the community into its development. It’s currently planned to be ready for the 2031–2032 NBA season.