Traffic was a big issue at Tuesday's hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
In handicapping the six proposals for the city's second license, Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger said the three sites near the stadium district would have "a particular challenge" dealing with congestion. Between sports, music and other entertainment, the stadiums and Wells Fargo Center host about 300 events a year.
Penn National has a solution: It's pledging to spend $3 million to build a direct westbound access ramp onto I-76 from its proposed Hollywood Casino Philadelphia at 700 Packer Avenue. In a statement, the company said it has "committed with city officials" to include the cost of the ramp in offsite improvements.
"It became very apparent to us in early meetings with residents of surrounding neighborhoods that westbound I-76 access traffic is a current and future concern for them," said Penn National's vice president for public affairs, Karen Bailey. "In turn, we also want to better the ease of access to and from our site for our customers without interruption by events taking place in the stadium district."
She called the ramp "a smart, long-term investment" for the city and the Hollywood Casino facility.
Currently, patrons of the stadium district have to travel west on Packer to Broad Street to access westbound I-76. The proposed ramp would be located off 7th Street, north of Packer Avenue.