Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Source: Sixers not closing in on new site for practice facility

THE 76ERS are not close to finalizing plans on a new practice facility, in Camden or anywhere else, according to a source close to the situation.

As the Daily News reported in April, plans for a facility at the Navy Yard were scratched, leaving the ownership group headed by Josh Harris to find a new site. Coach Brett Brown has repeatedly emphasized the need for a new, state-of-the-art facility, as the Sixers are the last NBA team not to have its own practice site. Since 1999, they've rented space from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The source said yesterday the search is continuing for a new site.

Just after the team's 19-win season ended, Harris said: "There are multiple sites that we're looking at, very, very advanced thinking. Hopefully, we're expecting to announce something this summer. Like everything else, we do we're trying to do it in the right way for the long run. Some alternatives have developed, and we'll let you know. Realistically, once we announce the site, it's going to take a couple of years to put it up appropriately. If you think about that, it will probably open for the third season from now."

The Sixers, in total rebuild mode, have the third and 10th pick in next month's NBA Draft, as well as five picks in the second round. They also have plenty of space under the salary cap with which to lure free agents. Doing that without an updated practice facility is a steep, uphill battle, as players enjoy the privacy a team-owned site allows.

"The day we get our own practice facility will be a whole other defining moment that sends the program in another direction," Brown said toward the end of the season, his first with the team. "It is a very, very important time when that comes."

When it comes, and where it will be, still seem to be unknown.


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville


BOB COONEY Daily News Staff Writer cooneyb@phillynews.com
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