If the Sixers moved to Center City, they would make Philly a far place among the sports cities

If the Sixers did indeed advance their plan to move their arena to the 10th and Market, after calling the Wells Fargo Center since it opened in 1996, they would make Philadelphia somewhat of an anomaly among American sports cities.

And no, we’re not talking about finally having a stadium downtown after the failed Phillies attempt to move to Center City back in 2000 – plenty of other markets have great modern facilities in the heart of the city. their cities. We’re talking about the fact that they will become the only city in North America that has the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League franchises that play in separate buildings.

READ MORE: The Sixers want to build a new $1.3 billion arena downtown

We stress the “city” there because there are quite a few markets where professional basketball and hockey teams play in different arenas, but none of them actually play in the same city, which is exactly what would happen if the Sixers said goodbye to the pilots and moved from South Philly to space. which is now part of the Fashion District.

There are 14 cities with NBA and NHL franchises. The halving keeps it simple, with Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Toronto and Washington all using one common circuit between the two teams. The same can be said for half of New York and Los Angeles, where the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden, Lakers, Clippers and Kings all share the Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center).

But this is where things start to get complicated.

In the Los Angeles area, there are also the ducks, who technically play in the same media market, but in a different arena and in a different city (Honda Center in Anaheim). Likewise in New York there are the Nets, who play at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the Islanders, who at one point shared Barclays with the Nets but returned to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale after renovations, before opening a new hockey game – a designated rink in Elmont (U. PS Arena) before last season.

»Read more: Everything we know about Sixers’ plans for a new downtown plaza

Then there’s the San Francisco Bay Area, which is the home of the NBA’s Warriors and NHL’s Sharks. While the two fan bases largely overlap, teams play in different arenas, with the Warriors at the new Chase Center in San Francisco and the Sharks stuck at the 30-year-old SAP Center in San Jose. The main difference here, aside from the two teams being on opposite sides of the San Francisco Bay, is that unlike the season in which the Oakland Arena was under construction in 1996-1997, the two teams never shared a home.

In South Florida, Miami’s FTX Heat Arena and Panther’s FLA Live Arena in Sunrise are both 35 miles—or an hour at rush hour in Miami—making the Panthers much closer to Fort Lauderdale than Miami. For the first five seasons, the Panthers participated in the since-demolished Miami Arena with the Heat, but they got out of there in 1998, and the Heat followed a year later.

» Read more: What do you call a new Sixers circuit?

In Minnesota, the Timberwolves play at Target Center (Minneapolis), while Wild plays at Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul). Are they twin cities? surely. But they are not the same city. This is noteworthy here, although unlike the two South Florida yards, they are only about 10 miles apart. However, the two Philly Arenas would be less than four miles apart.

Finally, there is the curious case of the Arizona Coyotes, who initially shared the America West Arena (now called the Footprint Center) with the Phoenix Suns from 1996 to 2003 and then played at the Gila River Arena in Glendale until the end of last season. Next season, they’ll be in Tempe at Arizona State University’s multipurpose arena, known as the Desert Financial Arena.

»Read more: The Sixers are not the first team at Al Ain City Centre. Here’s why it didn’t work with the Phillies.

But, again, it’s worth remembering that none of these markets are doing what Philly could be.

Here’s a look at the aforementioned markets and the driving distance between the two plazas (according to the fastest route on Google Maps), ordered by shortest Thursday noon time, which could be very different from rush hour traffic.


NHL Arena


distance: after

driving time


Wells Fargo Center

76ers Place

6.8 miles*

12 minutes


Excel Energy Center (St Paul)

Target Center (Minneapolis)

10.2 miles

19 minutes


Desert Financial Arena (Tempe)

Fingerprint Center (Phoenix)

11.5 miles

20 minutes

South Florida

FLA Live Arena (sunrise)

FTX Arena (Miami)

35.0 miles

39 minutes

New York

UPS Arena (Elmont)

Barclays Center (Brooklyn)

18.0 miles

49 minutes

Los Angeles

Honda Center (Anaheim)

Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles)

30.4 miles

52 minutes

Gulf area

SAP Center (San Jose)

Chase Center (San Francisco)

53.6 miles

52 minutes

*The plazas would actually only be 3.8 miles away if you had taken Broad Street, but this will likely take longer.

» READ MORE: Philly Mayor Says Proposed Sixers Arena Is In ‘Perfect Location’ And Confirms No City Funding Planning

Unless another expansion franchise joins a league — or a team in one of the cities that currently shares the relocation circuit decides — in the next nine years, which is how long this project is expected to take, then Philly could become a testing ground to see if Major American cities needed two arenas of over 18,000 seats very close to each other.

Of course, Philly is no stranger to having two plazas close to each other – it’s only been 13 years since Wells Fargo Center’s next-door neighbor, Spectrum, was demolished. And those behind the Sixers’ new arena plans believe the city’s appetite for events is more than enough to keep two arenas occupied.

76 Devcorp, the group responsible for the 76 Place project, commissioned the strategic arena and sports website consultant CAA-ICON to conduct a “competitive analysis of current demand factors for venue and supply use in more than two dozen metro areas, including Philadelphia, and ultimately concluded that Philadelphia could to effectively support and benefit from two major sports arenas,” 76 Devcorp told The Inquirer in an email.

With more than six million people in the region, the group says the market “could see total aggregate events roughly double the level of the current event (with Wells Fargo only) once the new arena is developed.”

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