Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro was on Crossing Broadcast Thursday afternoon.

As you probably know, he’s a Montco guy and Philly sports fan, a basketball diehard who used to call up sports radio to talk hoops. During our conversation, we got to the topic of the proposed Sixers arena on Market East, and Shapiro asked for reasonable discussion without the noise:


“First off, I think we just need to look at this calmly and rationally and take some of the heat out of it. I’ll just say as a Governor, as a huge Sixers fan, I want to make sure the Sixers are here for a good, long while, and that they have a great facility to play in. I think it’s a great thing that the owners have proposed doing this without any public money. They’re not asking me as governor, and I’m not aware they’re asking anyone for any kind of public money. I actually think what the city did a couple of weeks ago, they said ‘we’re gonna just carefully study this, let’s make sure we’re taking some of the noise out of the conversation and looking at this thing in a really thoughtful and concrete way.” The best thing we can do right now is study this issue carefully and make sure we’re making the best possible decision for the future of the city, the future of the neighborhoods, the future of this great team, and the future needs of our Commonwealth.”

It’s been an interesting few months for the arena proposal, which morphed into some kind of grotesque and politically-charged hot-button topic. You have the Chinatown opposition, the mayoral candidates being asked about it, differing opinions in the sports ecosystem, and lots of wrangling behind the scenes.

Shapiro, now in his new role, just wants some due diligence and meaningful discussion.

“I’m a big believer in thoughtful, calm, rational review of things, and frankly trying to bring people together,” he said. “Here in the (the capitol) it’s about bringing Democrats and Republicans together. For this, it’s about bringing different components of the city together, and there are a lot of differing interests here. The only thing I’m not calm about is rooting for the Sixers and being a sports fanatic. I get very emotional (laughing).”

Here’s the full segment from CBC: