Phillies press release:

The Philadelphia Phillies announced today it has joined Comcast Spectacor on the planned mixed-use development project in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The two organizations will collaborate over the next several years to make the destination a world-class, live-work-play sports and entertainment district.

Phase one of the development project will involve lots located between Pattison Avenue and the Wells Fargo Center for which Comcast Spectacor already has development rights. This phase will include a new, mid-sized concert venue, hotel, retail shops and an outdoor plaza, as well as upgrades to Xfinity Live!. Phase one is expected to be completed in 2028.

Phase two will involve additional development around the Wells Fargo Center and will expand north of Pattison Avenue to lots currently controlled by the Phillies from Broad Street to Citizens Bank Park. The concept for this phase envisions another hotel, residential units, more retail, restaurants, office space and significant green space.  It also will include a dedicated “Phillies Plaza” adjacent to Citizens Bank Park that will provide gathering spaces and immersive experiences for fans. The two companies will be partnering to seek approvals and the necessary development rights from the City of Philadelphia for phase two and will work closely with the local community as plans progress.

“When I think about what makes Philadelphia unique, it’s our incredible fan base and tight-knit community. This project focuses on expanding that community and bringing in more residents, workers and visitors,” said John Middleton, managing partner and CEO of the Philadelphia Phillies. “With the creation of new spaces and experiences, Philadelphians and visitors will have more opportunities to celebrate the passion and pride we have for our city and our teams.”

“John Middleton and the Phillies share a big and bold dream for what the future could look like for Philadelphia. John’s input and support of the vision has been so valuable from the very early stages, and our partnership with the Phillies will strengthen the ongoing growth and revitalization of the South Philadelphia community,” said Dan Hilferty, chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor.

This is old news if you’ve been paying attention, or you read Crossing Broad.

Last year, a reader sent over a photo that showed then-new Comcast boss Dan Hilferty at a Sixers playoff game, sitting alongside Phillies Executive Vice President David Buck and Eagles Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Frank Gumienny:

At the time, Comcast was answering the Sixers’ desire to leave South Philly for Market Street, and saying publicly that they’d like Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment to instead partner with them, the Phillies, and Eagles in a comprehensive redevelopment of the sports complex.

Late last month, Comcast revealed the first renderings for the proposed $2.5 billion dollar reimagination of the area, which includes upgrades to Xfinity Live, a 5,000 seat concert venue, a hotel, new retail and restaurants, and an outdoor plaza. The Sixers, meantime, recently revised their Market Street arena proposal and the city’s independent study is due any moment now. WELL? WE’RE WAITING, as Judge Smails from Caddyshack once said.

Now putting aside my Big J hat for a moment, my personal opinion is that the Comcast plan and Sixers plan are not mutually exclusive. It’s the meme of the little Asian girl saying “why not both?” Hang on, let me find it…


Think about it. The Sixers want to spend $1.5 billion of their own money to build a downtown arena, complete with retail and housing and all of that. Comcast doesn’t want the competition of a second arena on their home turf, of course, but the Sixers leaving doesn’t preclude them from working with the Phillies and Eagles in turning the sports complex into some kick-ass mixed-use development. People are framing this as some either/or proposition, but it’s not, and there’s an opportunity here for the Philadelphia sports fan to get a two-fer. To get the best of both worlds. The Sixers play downtown in a different spot and provide a different experience. Then the sports complex is brought into the 21st Century and the Flyers, Eagles, and Phillies experience is upgraded at the same time.

Easier said than done of course, because in that case, a tenant leaves its current building and becomes a competitor instead of a collaborator. But for the Philadelphia sports fan, what I’ve described above is a win win. And to take it a step further, I think the $50 million in community benefits should go primarily to Chinatown to help with the 676 stitch project, or something similarly positive for the community. That’s how I think we make it work so that everybody gets something out of this rejiggering.

Fuck it, let’s do it all! Vamos!