Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia)

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Wells Fargo Center
Wells Fargo Center logo
Wells Fargo Center.jpg

Wells Fargo Center
Former names CoreStates Center
(August 12, 1996 – August 31, 1998)[1]
First Union Center
(September 1, 1998 – July 28, 2003)[1]
Wachovia Center
(July 29, 2003 – July 26, 2010)[1]
Location 3601 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. 19148
Coordinates 39°54′4″N 75°10′19″W / 39.90111°N 75.17194°W / 39.90111; -75.17194Coordinates: 39°54′4″N 75°10′19″W / 39.90111°N 75.17194°W / 39.90111; -75.17194
Broke ground September 14, 1994
Opened August 13, 1996[2]
Owner Comcast Spectacor
Operator Global Spectrum
Construction cost $210 million
($316 million in 2014 dollars[3])
Architect Ellerbe Becket
Project manager Fox Management Company[1]
Structural engineer Walter P Moore/Bernard Schwartz & Associates[4]
Services engineer Flack & Kurtz[5]
General contractor L.F. Driscoll Co.[6]
Capacity Basketball: 20,328, at least 21,315 with standing room
Hockey: 19,537, at least 20,327 with standing room
Arena football: 17,597
Public transit access AT&T Station
Tenants
Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) (1996-present)
Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) (1996-present)
Philadelphia Wings (NLL) (1997–present)
WrestleMania XV (WWE) (1999)
Philadelphia Soul (AFL) (2004–2008, 2011–present)
Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL) (Part time, 1996–2009)
Villanova Wildcats (NCAA) (Part time, 1996–present)

The Wells Fargo Center[7][8] (Spectrum II (prior to construction), formerly the CoreStates Center, First Union Center and Wachovia Center) is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It is the home arena of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League, and the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. The Center was completed in 1996 to replace the Spectrum as the home arena of the Flyers, 76ers, and Wings, on the former site of John F. Kennedy Stadium (originally Philadelphia Municipal Stadium) at a cost of $210 million, largely privately financed (though the city and state helped to pay for the local infrastructure). It is owned by Comcast Spectacor, which also owns the Flyers, and is operated by its arena-management subsidiary, Global Spectrum.

The Wells Fargo Center lies at the southwest corner of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Xfinity Live!.


Naming rights[edit]

The Wells Fargo Center as the Wachovia Center

Before its construction, the proposed arena was tentatively called "Spectrum II".[9] The Center was originally named for CoreStates Bank, which agreed to pay $40 million over 21 years for the naming rights, with additional terms to be settled later for an additional eight-year period at the end of the contract.

However, the contract has gone through multiple hands due to various bank mergers; first by First Union Bank in 1998, Wachovia in 2003, and finally by Wells Fargo in July 2010.[7][8][10] Installation of the new Wells Fargo Center branding began on July 27, 2010, with the removal of the Wachovia Center signage, followed by the installation of the new Wells Fargo Center signage. Work was completed in September 2010.[11]

Facilities[edit]

Wells Fargo Center prior to a 76ers game on the old floor design.

The Center officially seats 20,318 for NBA and NCAA basketball and 19,537 for NHL hockey and indoor ("box") NLL lacrosse. With additional standing-room admissions available in luxury and club-box suites, the total paid capacity increases. The Center has 126 luxury suites, 1,880 club-box seats, and a variety of restaurants and clubs (both public and private) available for use by patrons. In addition, the offices, studios, and production facilities of NBC Sports affiliate Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia are all located in the facility.

On June 9, 2010, the Center set the record for the highest attendance for an indoor hockey game in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (20,327) when the Flyers lost Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks.[12] The Center also set a record for the highest attendances for a college basketball game in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania on February 13, 2006, when Villanova University played and defeated the #1 ranked University of Connecticut before a crowd of 20,859.[13]

On August 1, 2006, Comcast Spectacor announced it would install a new center-hung scoreboard to replace the original one made by Daktronics. The new scoreboard, manufactured by ANC Sports, is similar to other scoreboards in new NBA & NHL arenas. An additional linear LED display lining the entire arena was also installed between the suite and mezzanine levels. Other renovations for the Center's ten-year anniversary included upgrading the suites with more flat screen HDTV's, as well as changing ticket providers from Ticketmaster to New Era Tickets, which is owned by Comcast Spectacor.

The PA announcer at the Center for Flyers games is Lou Nolan, who moved with the team from the Spectrum, where he worked since 1972. Matt Cord is the PA announcer for 76ers games. Jim Bachman is the PA announcer for Villanova basketball games. Kevin Casey handles PA duties for the Philadelphia Wings.

Concerts[edit]

Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel sellout banners hanging in the rafters

On August 13, 1996, a private concert by Ray Charles was the first event at the Center, with a crowd of nearly 12,000. Each spectator was given a commemorative key acknowledging they helped "open the arena". The inaugural concert, on September 2, 1996, featured Oasis, with The Manic Street Preachers and The Screaming Trees, before an estimated crowd of 12,000.[2] The Center has since held other concerts by many famous artists.

On December 6, 2002, hard rock band Guns N' Roses was scheduled to perform there on its Chinese Democracy Tour. The opening bands CKY and Mix Master Mike performed, but the main act, Guns N' Roses, never appeared, fueling a riot in the arena and causing about $30,000 to $40,000 in damage. No reason was ever given for the non-appearance by Guns N' Roses, other than the public announcement that one of the band members was ill.[14]

In 2006, Billy Joel set a record when he sold-out his eighteenth Center concert.[15]

In addition, hanging from the rafters of the Center are two banners in the orange and black colors of the Flyers honoring both Billy Joel's 48 Philadelphia sellouts and Bruce Springsteen's 53 Philadelphia sellouts respectively.

Tenants[edit]

The Flyers playing the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center

Full time[edit]

Part time[edit]

Former part time[edit]

  • Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL); the Flyers' AHL development club played some regular season and Calder Cup playoff games at the Center each season between 1996 and 2009 when the Spectrum was unavailable because of other events.
  • Philadelphia Soul of the original AFL; split games between the Center and the Spectrum between 2004 and 2008; AFL folded in 2009. Soul returned in 2011 (see above).

Capacity[edit]

The capacity for 76ers games has gone as followed:

  • 20,444 (1996-2006)[16]
  • 20,318 (2006-2010)[17]
  • 20,328 (2010–present)[18]

The capacity for Flyers games has gone as followed:

  • 19,463 (1996-1997)[19]
  • 19,511 (1997-1998)[20]
  • 19,519 (1998-2003)[16]
  • 19,523 (2003-2008)[21]
  • 19,537 (2008–present)[22]

Notable events[edit]

Wells Fargo Center prior to a Flyers game.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d 2011-2012 Philadelphia Flyers Media Guide
  2. ^ a b "Wells Fargo Center History". Wachovia Center Official Website. Comcast Spectacor, L.P. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ "Case Histories". Chance Civil Construction. May 8, 2009. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ Lampert-Greaux, Ellen (May 1, 1997). "CoreStates Center: The New Home of the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers Mixes Sports and Entertainment in a High-Tech Setting". TCI. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Wachovia Center". LF Driscoll Co. 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Seravalli, Frank (July 2, 2010). "It's Officially the Wells Fargo Center". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Holdings). Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b O'Brien, James (July 2, 2010). "Flyers' Arena Undergoes Name Change from Wachovia to Wells Fargo Center". NBC Sports. NBC Universal. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  9. ^ Ford, Bob; McCoy, Craig; Macnow, Glen (Nnonvember 30, 1993). "Spectrum II In Peril Again". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Building the Flyers and Sixers Play in" Prepares for Yet Another New Name". February 12, 2010. The700Level.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  11. ^ DiStefano, Joseph N. (July 28, 2010). "PhillyDeals: Sixers-Flyers Arena Gets a New Name—Again". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Flyers Break Single-Season Attendance Record". National Hockey League. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Connecticut vs. Villanova - Box Score". ESPN. February 13, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Guns N'Roses Tour Canceled after Philadelphia Debacle". Billboard (AllBusiness.com). December 21, 2002. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Wells Fargo Center Celebrates 15 Years". The Philadelphia Inquirer. August 30, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Eichel, Larry (December 29, 2002). "Attendance dips for Flyers, 76ers". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ Juliano, Joe (December 12, 2006). "76ers Playing Transition Game Empty: A.I.'s Things are Gone, but Losing Streak Continues". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ Gabriel, Kerith (October 27, 2010). "Visit by Heat's James, Wade, and Bosh Makes Opener a Hot Ticket". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ Blockus, Gary R. (October 6, 1996). "Flyers Get Robbed Again By Vanbiesbrouck The Beezer Turns Away 31 Shots To Break In `The Vault'". The Morning Call (Allentown). Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ Moran, Edward (April 21, 1997). "Quiet A Difference In The Arenas It's Same Fans, But Just Not As Loud". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  21. ^ "2003 National Hockey League Franchise Directory". SportsBusiness Journal. September 29, 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  22. ^ Carchidi, Sam (January 12, 2009). "Biron Regaining His Playoff Touch". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ "NCAA taps Pa. for 2013, 2014 championship games". The Seattle Times. July 13, 2010. 

External links[edit]