Last year the Sixers opened administrative offices at the Philly Navy Yard. Now the organization wants to move the basketball team there.
Philadelphia Business Journal reports the franchise has a proposal to build a brand new practice facility at the Yard, right down the street from the Wells Fargo Center. The 55,000-square-foot facility could be constructed and in use as early as 2015. John George has more:
The team is looking for a facility that would include “two basketball courts; fitness, training and rehabilitation space; player and coaching staff locker rooms; an audio-video review room; broadcast media facilities; a player lounge; food service; laundry; and 60 surface parking spaces.”
Details are sparse, but the Sixers believe this is a move that will make them more attractive to free agents. Building a new practice facility is something Adam Aron spoke to John Mitchell for the Inquirer about the same subject back in March.
"That's something we continue to look into," said Sixers CEO Adam Aron, who made the train ride with the team for Sunday's game in Washington.
Aron said the Sixers have not decided whether to build a facility or find an existing facility and buy it. The Sixers now practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Aron said an improvement is "absolutely necessary." He acknowledged that the team is looking into a few potential sites around the city.
"It goes with being a first-class organization," Aron said of acquiring a topflight practice facility. "If you are going to attract the best free agents, you have to be able to offer the best."
There is definitely something to that. There was a sense that retired right tackle Jon Runyan signed with the Eagles as a free agent in 2000 in part because of construction of a new practice facility and stadium – after all, the announcement was held at the groundbreaking of the NovaCare Complex.
Of course, other aspects that might make the Sixers more attractive to free agents are a better supporting cast, or something as small as knowing who the head coach will be. I guess free laundry service doesn’t hurt, either.
Nothing is official yet, but barring some unforeseen circumstances, it sounds like a safe bet the 76ers will soon have a home to call their own.