The Sixers’ idea isn’t new. Sports arenas around the US have built on or near transit.

Filed in Sport by on July 22, 2022 0 Comments

These days, hardly anybody builds them like New Jersey did in 1979, when it broke ground in the Meadowlands swamp for a sports arena that would be surrounded by acres of parking. It housed the NBA’s Nets and the Devils of the NHL until both fled to dense urban centers with transit options.

The Devils play two blocks from Newark Penn Station, and the Prudential Center arena is connected to light rail. The now Brooklyn Nets play in the Barclays Center, served by 10 New York subway lines and the Long Island Railroad. In fact, the traffic engineer who helped design the center, which opened in 2012, slashed 51% of planned parking spaces, saying he wanted to “scare drivers away.”

For about 25 years, developers of sports arenas and city planners have increasingly prioritized easy access to mass transit — along with the usual amenities to keep fans around longer and spending more.

Transit clearly was on the minds of the investors who have floated the idea of ​​building a new arena for the Philadelphia 76ers over Jefferson Station, a SEPTA hub in Center City served by 12 Regional Rail lines, the Market-Frankford Line and a number of buses roads. It’s also within walking distance of the PATCO trains from South Jersey.

“What could be better than sports and transit? Now it can be in one place,” SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards told the Inquirer.

She noted that a fan can travel from almost anywhere to see the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, which sits on top of multiple transit and inter-city rail options.

“It’s nice to grab a bite in the city and meet up with friends afterwards,” Richards said. If an arena were built above Jefferson Station, Sixers fans could do the same.

Here are examples of other urban sports arenas connected to public transportation.

BOSTON: TD Garden

  • Transit: MBTA’s North Station underneath. Four commuter rail lines; two subway lines; Amtrak’s Maine route.

  • Supporters: Boston Celtics, NBA; Boston Bruins, NHL

BROOKLYN, NY: Barclays Center

  • Transit: Nine subway lines, Long Island RR.

  • Holders: Brooklyn Nets, NBA; New York Liberty, WNBA

DALLAS: American Airlines Arena

  • Transit: Victory Station—TRE commuter rail. Two light-rail lines

  • Holders: Dallas Mavericks, NBA; Dallas Stars, NHL

DENVER: Ball Arena, aka “The Can”

  • Transit: Three light-rail lines

  • Supporters: Denver Nuggets, NBA. Colorado Avalanche, NHL

ELMONT, NY: UBS arena

  • Transit: Long Island Railroad, which also has stops in nearby Queens

  • Holding: New York Islanders, NHL

MANHATTAN: Madison Square Garden

  • Transit: Penn Station directly under arena with Amtrak, LIRR and NJ Transit trains; six subway lines at 34th St.-Penn Station, also below.

  • Supporters: New York Knicks, NBA; NHL’s New York Rangers

  • Opened: 1968 at current location. (Three former MSGs at other locations, beginning in 1879)

ST. LOUIS: Enterprise Arena

  • Transit: Metrolink subway/light rail

  • Holding: St. Louis Blues, NHL

SALT LAKE CITY: Vivint Safe Home Arena

  • Transit: Two TRAX light rail lines

SAN FRANCISCO: Chase Center

  • Transit: One Muni Metro light rail line. Fans can transfer from BART regional transit system.

  • Holding: Golden State Warriors, NBA

WASHINGTON: Capital One Arena

  • Transit: Three Metro subway lines at Gallery Place

  • Supporters: Washington Wizards, NBA; Washington Capitals, NHL

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