The fight over a new Sixers arena is just getting started.

Chinatown community leaders were pissed after a potential parking garage bill included language that could benefit a new Sixers arena in their neighborhood., according to Sean Collins Walsh at the Inky:

The bill, introduced by City Councilmember Mark Squilla on behalf of Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration, includes a provision requiring the garage operator to agree to potential future striking, or removing from the city grid, of Filbert Street between 10th and 11th Streets, in the area that the 76ers hope to open a stadium in 2031.

The bill included language that could potentially remove Filbert Street from the city grid in the future, something the 76ers require to construct a new stadium in the neighborhood. Over the summer the Sixers said as much, mentioning the arena would extend to the Greyhound bus station at 10th and Filbert.

There’s a whole bunch of he-said, she-said in the city council between Squilla and Mayor Kenney’s administration. Kenney’s team is blaming Squilla for adding the language after his administration saw the document. Squilla said outside lawyers added the terms into the bill before he saw it and assumed the Mayor’s team agreed to the language already.

Chinatown community leaders feel blindsided in all of this, because if they weren’t tipped off to the included language the bill would have passed without a fight and would have been a win for the Sixers stadium development.

Got all of it? Makes sense? Good. Because it’s time to insert my opinion into the story. I’m sure that’s the reason why you clicked in the first place.

Here we go. I’m on the record saying I want the Sixers to build in Center City. I know people love the South Philly complex, but you’ll still have three teams there to get your fix. My favorite stadiums are Wrigley and Fenway. They’re built in community neighborhoods and surrounded by restaurants, bars, and shops.

People don’t tailgate Sixers games like they do the Eagles. If you think about it, you’re getting the best of both worlds now. You get the piss-soaked parking lot littered with beers, fans, and great tailgate setups as far as the eye can see, and you get the opportunity of getting tuned up at an outdoor bar and walking across the street to the stadium in Center City.

If anything, Philly could benefit from more bars and nightlife. How many times can a person go to that cluster of McGillins, Bru, and Tradesman, Old City, or that strip on Sansom west of Broad? The pandemic did a number on some of the best bars in this city and the Fashion District is underutilized. Not to mention the irony of calling it a Fashion District when the largest clothing retailer there is Ross. That’s like calling “The Process” a success because JaVale McGee won three titles post-Sixers.

I understand Chinatown doesn’t want its community ransacked. It already has the Convention Center, Vine Street Expressway, and Independence Hall to deal with. They’re being squeezed from all sides and this could be the nail in the coffin. I gotta ask though, what is the alternative? If the arena doesn’t get built, what goes there? You know something will. The Fashion District’s days are numbered. It’ll just go back to The Gallery, and anyone who remembers those days knows it was the eighth level of Hell.

I think there’s a way Chinatown and the Sixers can work together that will benefit both parties, especially for a neighborhood that could use some revitalization. All I ask is nothing happens to the Chinatown Beer Garden or we we riot. That’s a deal breaker.

The real smoking gun in all this is the Sixers ability to finance the project itself. I think it starts and ends there. Can some conclusion be made that will make everyone happy? Right now, it’s looking less likely that it’s a possibility.

P.S. Does Chinatown want to go toe to toe with David Adelman? The dude has humongous balls. He sat next to Ndamukong Suh and refused to surrender any leg room. He put Suh in a box. Look at how uncomfortable he looks. That’s a dude who’s ready to die trying to get this stadium built: