After cashing in on The Process and surviving an injury-riddled end of season, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Brett Brown and co. dispensed with opening round opponents the Brooklyn Nets, winning the best of seven series 4-1, and are now poised to take on No. 2 seed Toronto Raptors.

How much is the City of Philadelphia behind the team’s run at the NBA Finals? Officials threw together two community watch parties to rally support.

One takes place at LOVE Park and the other at Cecil B. Moore Rec Center, and both free events will have music and food on site. That’s thanks to a sponsorship from Visit Philly, which offered support on very short notice, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Parks and Recreation, which operates both locations.

The idea for the parties came direct from Mayor Jim Kenney, per the Parks & Rec spokesperson, who loves the “Join, or Die”-inspired Sixers playoff slogan, “Phila Unite.”

“Philadelphia has the best sports fans in the world,” the mayor said in a (true) statement announcing the gatherings.

Want to attend? Here’s what you need to know.


This’ll be the main party, with Sixers mascot Franklin, the Sixers Dunk Squad, and the Sixers drumline all in attendance. If you still aren’t sold on the plaza’s new look, know that this kind of event is pretty much exactly what it was designed for.

Timing: Activities start 6:30 p.m., tip-off 7:30 p.m.

Screen: A 10-ft. by 17-ft. LED screen, powered by Comcast

Seating: BYO blankets and chairs

Food: Trucks vending on site will include

DJ: Provided by the Sixers

Cecil B. Moore Rec Center

An alternative for people who don’t want to head into Center City, this indoor screening at the North Philly facility can only accommodate 150 people, so guests are encouraged to arrive early.

Timing: Doors open 6:30 p.m., tip-off 7:30 p.m.

Screen: TBD

Seating: Indoors on chairs (hence the attendance cap)

Food: Free food will be provided

DJ: Radio personality Mina SayWhat

Along with Jeff Guarancino of Visit Philly, the Parks & Rec staff who put all this together say they owe thanks to 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil for being open to the idea, and to Comcast VP Karen Buchholz, for helping broadcast the game to each pop-up location.

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...