The Buccini/Pollin Group and the Philadelphia 76ers have partnered to create a 140,000-square-foot sports complex off Route 13 and Garasches Lane in Wilmington.
The facility, called the Fieldhouse, will serve as the home to the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers’ NBA G League affiliate, starting next season.
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the owner of the Sixers, approached the Delaware developer about a year and a half ago. Both partners see the project as an opportunity to serve the team as well as the surrounding community.
High schools, travel teams, and other youth sports groups will have access to the complex, which will boast three basketball courts and two indoor soccer fields.
“What’s truly unique is having, not only pro-athletes play in this building, but also local kids and aspiring athletes in Wilmington and throughout Delaware,” said 76ers President Chris Heck.
The model is not without precedent, however. The 76ers training facility in Camden, New Jersey, which opened in 2016, also aims to serve its host city. As part of the facility, the team’s parent company is renovating one local basketball court per year. Employees of the facility also have mandatory volunteer hours within the city.
Rob Buccini, president of the development group, talked up the downtown location. “The location is certainly a big asset,” he said. He pointed to easy access to I-95 and 495 and walking distance from Wilmington’s entertainment district as some of the advantages.
The Delaware 87ers currently practice at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center in Newark. Their lease ends after this season.