City Will Lease Mayor’s Box at Wells Fargo Center to Help Fund Schools

Use of the taxpayer-funded suite has been controversial in the past.

Mayor's Suite

L: AP Photo/Matt Rourke | R: Courtesy Jeff Fusco

The city will lease the so-called “Mayor’s Suite” at the Wells Fargo Center for $100k annually – and the revenue, which will likely exceed that, will go toward Philly schools. 

Mayor Jim Kenney announced the deal with Wells Fargo Center owner Comcast Spectator yesterday. Under the deal, the company will pay the city a flat annual fee to lease the taxpayer-funded suite. If the suite is rented for events other than Flyers and Sixers games, like concerts, the business will pay additional fees.

All revenue will benefit the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, a nonprofit that works with private organizations to benefit public education in the city.

“It’s a hat-trick of a deal: the city is spared the task of selling individual tickets itself to raise revenue, the Wells Fargo Center has more premium seats available, and most importantly – the children of Philadelphia will have more basic resources for schools,” Kenney said in a statement. “This is a slam dunk.”

Kenney campaigned on the promise that he would capitalize on the suite. The box’s use has been controversial in the past – Former Mayor John Street was reportedly accused of using it to fundraise during his reelection campaign in 2003. Following a string of right-to-know requests and demands of transparency from journalists and other taxpayers, former Mayor Michael Nutter both agreed to release the names of ticket holders and started a program through which tickets were given to nonprofits, charities and schools.

Kenney has previously estimated that leasing the box could bring in as much as $1 million in funding. The suite could rent for about $1,500 to $5,000 during non-Flyers and non-Sixers events, the Inquirer reports.

“We are thrilled to partner with the city,” Wells Fargo Complex president John Page said in a statement. “The Wells Fargo Center is strongly rooted in this great city, and we take enormous pride in being able to give back to the community.”

Donna Frisby-Greenwood, President and CEO of The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, said the deal is “truly exciting news for public school students in Philadelphia.”

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