SBD/June 11, 2014/Facilities

Tax Credits Prove To Be The Difference For 76ers In Opting For Camden Practice Facility

The 76ers yesterday announced that the team and its employees will “cross the river to the Camden waterfront to open a new headquarters and a state-of-the-art, 120,000-square-foot practice center” by June ‘16, according to Jason Nark of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. The 76ers will “still play its home games at the Wells Fargo Center about nine miles away” in Philadelphia, but “everything else will happen” in Camden after $82M in tax credits were "approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board.” 76ers CEO Scott O'Neil noted that the team is the “only NBA franchise without its own practice center,” having used a single court at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine since '99. Team officials said that it has been a “detriment to luring prospects and free agents to the floundering franchise.” O’Neil: "This will be the biggest and best training center ever built in the U.S.” O'Neil said that the team has “no immediate plans for retail space, but it's possible.” Camden Mayor Dana Redd said that the practice center “could draw new small businesses such as restaurants or cafes.” O'Neil confirmed that the tax breaks from New Jersey were what “lured” the 76ers away from other possible Philadelphia locations, "specifically the Navy Yard.” O’Neil said, “The opportunity provided through the tax credits allowed us to take a whole 'nother step in terms of size and scope of the project" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/11). O’Neil: "We need a 24/7 operation that's ours." Officials said that they “hope to break ground" this October (SOUTH JERSEY TIMES, 6/11).
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