The Wells Fargo Center Has Entered the Sixers Arena Fray
The Wells Fargo Center Twitter account posted this in response to Wednesday’s press release from the Sixers, which claims the downtown arena project will create almost $500 million in state tax revenue:
Another myth from Mr. Adelman: claims that their arena proposal will produce hundreds of millions in new tax revenue without providing actual data to back up those claims. They’ve talked about this report for months but have yet to make it public, and their projections don’t add… pic.twitter.com/C1aDcdIG9K
— Wells Fargo Center (@WellsFargoCtr) September 20, 2023
Something about this being posted from the Wells Fargo Center account, and not the Comcast account, makes me laugh. There’s a Buildings Matter, Too joke in here somewhere.
But this is the second time now that Comcast has RIPOSTED via the WFC on social media, so it would seem as though the gloves have come off entirely. There’s been a lot of finagling and maneuvering behind the scenes, with occasional public words shared by David Adelman and Dan Hilferty, but now the arena discussion has more or less devolved into each side doing a Mike Gundy routine:
In this particular case, Comcast is saying that the Sixers’ press release is bullshit. The release cites a study done by a group called MuniCap, which is a Maryland-based firm that was founded in 1997. Obviously we do not have the full study itself, which also does not appear to be available on the MuniCap website, so the parsed information goes out in a press release and then is immediately disputed by the opposition. That’s kind of the cycle here – Sixers put out release, Chinatown issues counter release, and then Comcast calls bullshit, now via the Wells Fargo Center Twitter account.
This vicious cycle of crapola is a good example of why we need that independent study completed and made public. It’s being done by the city and financed by the Sixers, which resulted in the opposition claiming bias. So be it, but ask yourself this – wouldn’t it be exponentially worse if the city was using more than half a million dollars in taxpayer money to fund the study of a project that is not guaranteed to be built? What’s worse, the unprovable accusation of bias, or flushing $500,000 down the drain? You tell me.
The arena discourse is all over the place right now. We talk a lot about the Sixers angle, and Chinatown angle, but Comcast is the major player here. They run Philadelphia, and the Sixers are their tenant. Of course they’d prefer collaboration. They don’t want HBSE building a new arena in their back yard (or front yard maybe) and then competing for concerts and other non-sporting events. Their public ire seems to flare up more when it comes to the part of this debate that revolves around concerts, scheduling, and the right of first refusal at the Wells Fargo Center. It was the subject of their first “MYTH” tweet on the matter:
The myths keep coming from Mr. Adelman and the Sixers. This ‘story’ is simply not true, and Mr. Adelman knows it.
The Wells Fargo Center had open dates for a concert on the very same weekday dates in Boston. Fact is, in the last 8 years, the Wells Fargo Center has not been able… pic.twitter.com/XcgitnsAIE
— Wells Fargo Center (@WellsFargoCtr) September 14, 2023
If we’re talking about Comcast as a landlord and the Sixers simply want to leave when their lease expires, then there’s little leverage the former has on that front, but they haven’t shied away from calling bullshit where they deem it necessary.
I don’t know what point I’m trying to convey there other than reminding people that this isn’t just the Sixers vs. Chinatown, it’s more like a WWE triple-threat match. It’s certainly not dull.