编者案：2022年7月21日，费城 76 人队宣布了他们一项私人出资、专门建造的体育和娱乐球馆的计划。该球馆位是时尚区（Fashion District）现址的一部分，位于市场街（Market Street）上10街到11街之间的区域，并向北延伸至Cuthbert街。预计整体计划将在6年后正式开工，2031年9月建成并投入使用。
新球馆可容纳18,500宾客，毗邻费城唐人街。它的位置引发了争论，有人反对，有人对它持开放态度但想了解更多，也有人支持。为此，费城前市长迈克尔·纳特（Michael A. Nutter，就任于2008年至2016年）专门就此争议谈论了他看法。
过去的三个月里，有关费城76人队在Market East打造新球馆的提案，各方意见层出不穷——支持与反对的声音并存，且双方都拿出了有力的论据。大家的争论似乎都围绕着一个核心问题：“如果76人队要在 Market East 新建球馆，会为费城和市中心带来什么？”
Over the last three months, there have been a variety of opinions – both supportive and oppositional – in response to the 76ers proposed arena at Market East, and valid arguments have been made on both sides. The debate has revolved around the question, “what will it mean for Philadelphia and Center City if the 76ers build an arena at Market East?”
But there’s another question we must ask: what happens if the proposed arena doesn’t move forward because we kill it before we have the opportunity to thoroughly assess all possible outcomes for Market East?
1984年，自由广场（Liberty Place）大楼建造计划刚被提出时，任何可能高于市政厅的建筑方案都被坚决反对。《每日新闻 (The Daily News)》的民意调查显示，费城民众反对此提案的比例近七成（样本为3,809人反对，1,822人支持）。不仅如此，在城市规划委员会（Planning Commission）看到此方案之前，就有约300人组织了反对活动。最终，这个项目还是得到了批准。可试想：如果当初我们连一个机会都不给这个项目，今天的费城会是什么样子？不只是天际线，市中心因此而开展的工作岗位和商机都可能消失，费城会难以跟上其他城市的发展节奏。
In 1984 when Liberty Place was proposed, there was significant opposition to any building taller than City Hall. The Daily News polled Philadelphians who opposed it 3,809 to 1,822. An estimated 300 people organized to oppose it before it was even presented to the Planning Commission. Eventually it was approved. But what would our city look like if we never gave that idea a chance? Not just our skyline, but the jobs and opportunity that Center City’s growth has afforded us to keep pace with other cities.
如今，鉴于大环境经济衰退的可能性，费城市中心的未来存在很大的不确定性，尤其是市场街这条主干道周边的区域。我在经济大萧条期间领导费城的市政工作，亲眼见证了市中心的持续振兴。私人投资推动新球馆建设，这样的事并不常见。若是世界经济如预期衰退，我很担心时尚区（Fashion District）未来是否可以继续繁荣的前景。无论你站在新球馆方案之辩的哪一方，只要你到过时尚区，见过或是曾经过那里的商铺，你就知道我绝不是在危言耸听。时尚区地处绝佳位置，有着无限可能，新球馆的开展能促进经济平等发展、为Market East区域开辟各种各样的活动。如果时尚区走向没落，物业损坏、商铺闲置以及地产价值不保都会让人越来越远离市中心，便危害到企业、居民和税收的根基，这样的后果任何人都无法接受。
Today, there is a great amount of uncertainty, given the possibility of a recession, about the future of our downtown particularly in this corridor of Market Street. I managed Philadelphia through the Great Recession and oversaw the continued revitalization of Center City. The private investments fueling the proposed arena don’t come along often and if things continue as they are, I remain concerned about the ability of the Fashion District to thrive. If you’ve been inside the mall or along the sidewalks, you know the concern is real, regardless of what side of the arena debate you stand. This is prime real estate that must be leveraged to equitably grow our economy and create productive activity around Market East. If Fashion District were to falter, the increased blight and vacancies alongside decreasing property values will deter people from downtown and harm businesses, residents and our tax base. That cannot be an acceptable outcome for anyone.
Alternatively, what if Fashion District is bought and developed by someone else? The site is currently zoned CMX5 – allowing for maximum height and density without any zoning variances or input from the community. Someone can build a sky-scraper or luxury mixed-use tower with little consideration for affordability or the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods, namely Chinatown. To be clear, a new owner of the mall may not have an interest in engaging with and investing in the community like the 76ers have committed to doing. Practically speaking, a new owner would have no real need to engage with the community, since they can build by right. With the 76ers, we have a developer who is asking the right questions: what is the impact on residents and businesses? Will this change the culture and identity of our communities? How can we shape this investment in a way that leaves everyone better off? Let’s allow these questions to be asked and answered.
事实上，Market East 的新球馆会创造新的就业机会——我们亟需它们来解决低收入以及收入不平等的问题。新球馆的选址方案还巧妙避免了居民拆迁，也杜绝了破坏商户和社区的可能，而这些操作在其他很多项目中司空见惯。另外，有人问城市究竟会不会从斥资数亿美元的球馆项目中获益？答案根本不必怀疑——这里会成为费城唯一一座私人出资的球馆，极大有助于我们的税基。
The fact is that a Market East arena would create new jobs – jobs that we desperately need as we continue to struggle with challenges of poverty and income inequality. The proposed location avoids the common practice of arena development that uses eminent domain to displace residents and businesses and breaks up communities. Further, while there is debate about whether cities really benefit from the hundreds of millions they often give to stadium projects, we don’t need to wonder here – this would be the only fully privately funded arena in Philadelphia and that will help our tax base.
所以，如果我们的目标是为了城市发展、支持和保护华埠，哪条路才有更好的机会？76人的这个提议，可以为Market East带来它亟需的生机。他们团队一直在和社区成员定期会面、倾听、学习，并承诺在项目继续推进前给出一份强有力的《社区福祉协议》作为指导文件。他们还与黑人族裔企业 Mosaic Development Partners 紧密合作，共同组建了一支优秀的开发团队，该企业一直以来的项目都造福了居民、保护了社区。
So, if our goal is to do what is best for the city and support and preserve Chinatown, what path forward gives us the best opportunity? The 76ers are proposing a project that could give Market East the lifeline it needs. They are meeting with community members regularly to listen and learn and have pledged to propose a robust community benefits agreement for consideration before the project would move forward. They have put together a development team with Mosaic Development Partners, a Black owned firm, that has a long track record of development that benefits existing residents and preserves communities.
This project isn’t happening tomorrow and we have time to vet, analyze and give careful consideration. While some have called to oppose it immediately, I encourage everyone to keep an open mind so we can truly understand what this could mean for all Philadelphians. Philadelphia is the birthplace of freedom, liberty and democracy, and in a democracy, we debate, discuss and then decide. Let the debate begin.
Michael A. Nutter is the former Mayor of Philadelphia, serving the City from 2008 through 2016.