Get your hard hats and shovels ready, because we’re breaking ground on the 76ers brand new “Fieldhouse” in Wilmington.
Well, not me, but Delaware dignitaries and Sixers people. It’s a ceremony next Wednesday, August 8th, to begin work on the facility that will host the Blue Coats (formerly the 87ers) this coming season.
It’s a 140,000 square-foot complex that can hold about 2,500 fans for Blue Coats home games. There will also be two indoor turf soccer fields, a sports performance and athletic training area, plus retail and office space. The Fieldhouse will be privately funded and also host programs for underserved youth in the region.
This thing is being built on the south side of Wilmington, right off of the route 13 interchange with I-495:
- Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck
- Delaware Governor John Carney
- Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki
- Wilmington Council President Hanifa Shabazz
- NBA G League President Malcolm Turner
- The Buccini/Pollin Group Co-Founder Rob Buccini
- Delaware Blue Coats General Manager Elton Brand
- Delaware Blue Coats President Larry Meli
The facility is being developed by the Buccini/Pollin Group, the same firm that built Talen Energy Stadium and numerous office and entertainment venues in Wilmington. Robert Buccini, Christopher Buccini, and David Pollin are part of the Philadelphia Union ownership group.
Edit: I forgot to include this quote from Chris Heck about the 87ers rebrand, from a discussion we had back in March:
Crossing Broad: I guess I’d start by asking you, “why?” Why did the organization want to do this re-brand and why was now the right time to do it?
Chris Heck: It was pretty simple; we had an opportunity to re-brand because we were moving. In Newark, we were not the University of Delaware. It’s their home and their facility and it wasn’t ours. That’s just the way it goes. So when we got a chance to have our own place, we said, ‘what’s the optimal setup?’ None of us were here at the time when the name was chosen, and, quite frankly, we went through five years of confusion. We had a chance to do this thing the right way. I just happen to live in Delaware and probably care about it more than most, but yea, it was important to get it right. We thought the extension of the 76ers brand and showing that it’s part of the program, without confusing people, was the right direction.