PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Wells Fargo Center updated its policy on signs, banners, posters and flags prior to the Philadelphia 76ers’ season opener on Wednesday night. Some feel this change was spurred by controversy.
On the Wells Fargo Center’s website, an amendment to their signage policy was added Wednesday, noting that signs, banners, posters and flags to be “political, ideological or commercial in nature” are now banned.
Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Wells Fargo Center, confirmed the update to Eyewitness News.
Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field have similar policies in place, but NBA venues, like the Wells Fargo Center, have recently become attractive for protesters who disagree with the league’s relationship with China amid ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.
This new policy clarifies that any signage related to the matter is prohibited.
As a result of the policy amendment, Chestnut Hill College has decided to discontinue its advertising in any publications involving the 76ers, Wells Fargo Center and the Flyers.
In an email sent Friday, the college wrote, in part, “Our college will not advertise a venue or a team that censors American sports fans eager to demonstrate their support for the Hong Kong protesters. Ultimately, the only bill Chestnut Hill College is willing to pay is the one that supports the Bill of Rights.”
During Sixers’ opening night, two men leaving the Wells Fargo Center told Eyewitness News that they had been asked to leave due to the anti-China shirts they were wearing. Comcast Spectacor said they found no evidence of that taking place.
The policy covers signage and not clothing. It’s unclear, though, if words written on a shirt could be considered a banner or sign.