The Philadelphia 76ers may build a practice facility and administrative headquarters on the Camden waterfront, the Inquirer’s Julia Terruso said. The facility would be near Campbell’s Field, she reports.
The Sixers have practiced at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine since 1999. (Before that they practiced on a West Philly street court with chain nets, I assume.) The Philadelphia Business Journal reported last summer the team was looking at the Navy Yard for a state-of-the-art practice facility, but that deal fell through in April. (Normally the descriptor of “state-of-the-art” would be pointless — how else would they build it? — but it is the Sixers, after all.)
The building would likely receive tax breaks due to the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act, a bill sponsored by Camden State Sen. Donald Norcross. He didn’t comment to the Inquirer about the proposed facility, but told the paper: “Literally, we have people knocking on the door and the mayor has heard it and we have, too, so it wouldn’t surprise me if many others wouldn’t be looking.”
The lack of a practice facility is said to be a drawback when the team attempts to attract free agents. Back in 2011, then-Sixers beat writer Kate Fagan wrote in the Inquirer that “nothing illustrates this point better than the movie Just Wright.” In the film, Elton Brand attempts to convince Queen Lafitah’s character, a trainer, to sign with the team in front of a swanky, fictional practice facility. Oddly enough, the Sixers landed Brand, the top free agent in 2008, despite the lack of a practice facility. Wait, why am I writing about Just Wright?
The Flyers also have a practice facility in New Jersey, in Voorhees. The Eagles practice at the Novacare Complex at Broad and Pattison in South Philadelphia, while the Phillies play pretty much every day and don’t really practice, per se. The Union are planning to build a practice facility in Chester.