Monday, March 17, 2008
Sixers, Flyers, Eagles, Phils consider relocation after latest skyscraper proposal
Philadelphia's four major professional sports teams-Flyers,Sixers,Eagles,Phils-are now considering relocation after news broke about a planned 1500 ft skyscraper to be constructed at 18th and Arch Streets in Center City.
Relocation talk sprouts from the "Curse of William Penn"-the belief that no Philadelphia team has won a championship since the modern skyline passed the brim of William Penn's hat atop City hall in 1987. The Sixers were the last team to capture a title in 1983 the same year that city officials agreed to permit buildings to breakthrough Penn's ceiling.
There was no official law limiting the height of the city's buildings but several architects were put to death for proposing such plans. Renown Philadelphia architect Gilbert Torchester was hung in 1906 in the City Hall court yard for mentioning to a friend that,"one day I will look down on William Penn."
The four teams believe that the curse is confined to the city limits and therefore plan on moves to one of the surrounding Pennsylvania or New Jersey counties.
"It stinks because we just got a new stadium," said David Montgomery, Phillies president. Already the town of Cape May, NJ seems to be the frontrunner for landing the Phils as they have plans for a 40,000-seat stadium in the heart of the historic district. "We'll have to rid the town of some of these hideous Victorian homes, but I think we can get it done," said Cape May Borough Chair, Tara Freeman.
Chester County has contacted the Eagles about a possible stadium site in the Great Valley Corporate Center with easy access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 202.
"This stinks because we just got a new stadium," said Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles owner. Lurie was very excited about the Chester County site but wanted to consider all the options.
"The curse is serious business which is why relocation is serious business. Having to move stinks because the Wachovia Center is only 12 years old," said Flyers president, Ed Snider. Reading and Norristown seem to be very interested in the Sixers and Flyers respectively.