By David Madden
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The Philadelphia 76ers have cleared a major hurdle in their plan to set up their own practice facility on the Camden waterfront.
When it’s completed, the Sixers will no longer be the only team in the NBA without their own practice facility.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved an $82-million tax credit, payable over ten years, which will cover the cost of construction of a 120,000-square-foot facility (see previous story).
It will allow the Sixers to conduct their practices in Camden and also conduct their business from those offices.
Make no mistake: without that help from the NJ EDA, this center would have almost certainly been put at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Team CEO Scott O’Neil says the current rental of space at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine just wouldn’t work anymore.
“We need a place that’s a 24-seven operation, that’s ours, that’s more than one court that we share with some med students,” O’Neill said today.
That $82-million tax credit is contingent upon the team guaranteeing a minimum of 250 jobs over that ten-year period.
Construction is expected to begin in the fall, and the team is expected to move into that facility in early 2016. City officials also hope it’ll attract other businesses to the area, at the foot of MLK Boulevard.