Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia)
|Wells Fargo Center|
Wells Fargo Center
|Former names||CoreStates Center
(August 12, 1996 – August 31, 1998)
First Union Center
(September 1, 1998 – July 28, 2003)
(July 29, 2003 – July 26, 2010)
|Location||3601 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
|Broke ground||September 14, 1994|
|Opened||August 12, 1996|
|Construction cost||$210 million
($307 million in 2013 dollars)
|Project manager||Fox Management Company|
|Structural engineer||Walter P Moore/Bernard Schwartz & Associates|
|Services engineer||Flack & Kurtz|
|General contractor||L.F. Driscoll Co.|
|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 (SEPTA station)|
|Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) (1996-present)
Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) (1996-present)
Philadelphia Wings (NLL) (1997–present)
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 (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.
Before its construction, the proposed arena was tentatively called "Spectrum II". 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. 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.
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 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. 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.
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.
On August 12, 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. 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.
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.
- Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL
- Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA
- Philadelphia Wings of the NLL
- Philadelphia Soul of the AFL
- Villanova University Wildcats of the NCAA Big East Conference; some high-attendance men's basketball home games which the on-campus arena, The Pavilion, is inadequate to accommodate.
Former part time
- 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).
The capacity for 76ers games has gone as followed:
The capacity for Flyers games has gone as followed:
- 19,463 (1996-1997)
- 19,511 (1997-1998)
- 19,519 (1998-2003)
- 19,523 (2003-2008)
- 19,537 (2008–present)
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey (three games)
- WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games, 1996
- 1997 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1998 United States Figure Skating Championships
- 1998 NLL Championship
- 1999 AHL All-Star Classic
- WWF WrestleMania XV, 1999
- 2000 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four
- 2000 Republican National Convention
- WWF Unforgiven, 2000
- 2001 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional
- 2001 NBA Finals
- X Games VII, 2001
- 2002 NBA All-Star Game
- X Games VIII, 2002
- WWE Royal Rumble, 2004
- 2005 AHL Calder Cup Finals
- NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, first and second rounds, 2006, 2009
- WWE Survivor Series, 2006
- American Idol auditions, 2007
- U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics, 2008
- WWE Night of Champions, 2009
- UFC 101, 2009
- 2010 Stanley Cup Finals
- NCAA Men's Wrestling Championship, 2011
- UFC 133, 2011
- 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, second and third rounds, including Florida Gulf Coast's upsets of Georgetown and San Diego State
- WWE Money in the Bank, 2013
- NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship, 2014
- 2014 NHL Entry Draft
- 2011-2012 Philadelphia Flyers Media Guide
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- "NCAA taps Pa. for 2013, 2014 championship games". The Seattle Times. July 13, 2010.
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