Wilmington will soon become home to a state-of-the art multi-purpose sports complex that will serve the community and professional athletes.
The new facility will sit on 8.9 acres of land near Route 13 and Garasches Lane. Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki made the announcement on Wednesday alongside officials representing the Philadelphia 76ers and the Buccini Pollin Group.
“The new sports facility will be among the finest in the country for a city our size,” said Purzycki who shared that the Delaware 87ers will play at the 140,000-square-foot complex bearing the name “76ers Fieldhouse.” The mayor added that it’s expected to be larger than the Chase Center.
The Delaware 87ers, an affiliate team of the Philadelphia 76ers have been using the University of Delaware’s sports complex since coming to the state in 2013. The move now allows the team to host 2,500 fans at the venue while helping thousands of underserved youth with new sports programming including basketball, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, football and a host of other sport activities. Officials said the complex will be equipped with three full-sized, professional basketball courts, two indoor turf soccer fields, a world-class sports performance and athletic training area, as well as retail and office space.
Some of the tenants that will occupy the facility include Nemours/Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children. Officials plan to bring advanced sports medicine and sports physical therapy to the complex.
“This will be an outstanding venue for the Delaware sports hungry public. This also answers our residents call for healthy options for our kids,” Purzycki said.
“Wilmington is a great place for companies to invest, expand, and grow,” said Gov. John Carney who applauded the project because it will create jobs too.
Although plans are still in the preliminary stages, the Buccini-Pollin Group is set to manage the development including construction on the site which is currently owned by the Riverfront Development Corporation. The property sits at the foot of the new Christina River Bridge that’s now under construction. It’s being called the perfect location by officials because it connects both banks of the Christina Riverfront.
“The Philadelphia 76ers are truly the Delaware Valley’s team, and we’re fortunate to have an incredible fan base across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. We are thrilled to partner with BPG on 76ers Fieldhouse in Delaware to serve as home to both our NBA G League team and hundreds of youth teams and athletes each year,” said Chris Heck, the 76ers President.
“This new facility will be the impetus for the development we have envisioned on the East bank of the Christina River,” said Megan McGlinchey, Executive Director of the RDC. “The location delivers an excellent gateway into Wilmington and the Riverfront.”
The sports arena is expected to be up and running by the end of 2018.