Black Clergy, Urban League in support of proposed 76ers arena at Penn's Landing

Calling it a “historic opportunity” to jumpstart the city’s economy in the wake of COVID-19 while also offering unprecedented job and investment opportunities for Black and Brown communities, civic and faith leaders urged the Delaware River Waterfront Commission to accept the proposed 76ers arena at Penn’s Landing.

When Reverend Robert Collier looks at Penn's Landing he now sees hope.

"When we read the proposal, we couldn't do anything but support it because it would put our people to work," he told FOX 29.

President of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity Reverend Collier joined the Urban League of Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition and the African American Chamber of Commerce in a letter of support for the Philadelphia 76ers proposal for an arena at for Penn's Landing.

The group says the 76ers presented to them a plan that would also include businesses, schools and an African American museum.

“Jobs, jobs, jobs and not just jobs but family sustaining jobs,” Andrea Custis, president and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia, said.  “They are also more than willing with the tens of thousands of jobs to make sure people who look like me are dealt in.”

The decision ultimately does come down to the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. They said in a statement they issued a request for a proposal for private development opportunities at Penn's Landing and they do not comment on open RFPs or pending real estate matters.

Sources with knowledge of the proposal tell FOX 29 there are no plans for appropriation of city or state taxpayer money to support the project, but some tell us there are concerns about the 76ers making promises.

Councilmember Helen Gym sounded off on Twitter saying in part "billionaire investors looking for a tax handout ranks about nowhere."

While Councilmember Jamie Gauthier said in part "in principle, I can't get excited about any proposal that doesn't maximize Philadelphian's access to the waterfront."


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