Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia)
Wells Fargo Center
|Former names||CoreStates Center
First Union Center
|Location||3601 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. 19148
|Public transit||AT&T Station:|
Pro Wrestling: 19,514
Arena football: 17,597
|Broke ground||September 14, 1994|
|Opened||August 13, 1996|
|Construction cost||$210 million
($316 million in 2015 dollars)
|Project manager||Fox Management Company|
|Structural engineer||Walter P Moore/Bernard Schwartz & Associates|
|Services engineer||Flack & Kurtz|
|General contractor||L.F. Driscoll Co.|
|Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) (1996–present)
Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) (1996–present)
Villanova Wildcats (NCAA) (1996–present)
Philadelphia Soul (AFL) (2004–2008, 2011–present)
Philadelphia Wings (NLL) (1997–2014)
The Wells Fargo Center (Spectrum II (prior to construction), formerly the CoreStates Center, First Union Center and Wachovia Center, and known as The Center for 76ers games) is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Center was completed in 1996 to replace the Spectrum as the home arena of the Flyers and 76ers, 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 currently 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.
Beginning in the 2015–16 NBA season, the 76ers ceased recognizing Wells Fargo's naming rights and referred to the facility exclusively as "The Center", as the institution is not a sponsor of the team.
The Center officially seats 20,318 for NBA and NCAA basketball and 19,541 for NHL hockey and indoor 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 10, 2005, the Center set a record for the highest attendance for an indoor hockey game in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania (20,103) when the Philadelphia Phantoms won Game 4 of the 2005 Calder Cup Finals over the Chicago Wolves to win the Calder Cup. The attendance record was broken on June 9, 2010, as the Center set another attendance record of 20,327 for Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals; the Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime, which gave Chicago its first Stanley Cup since 1961. 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 handled PA duties for the Philadelphia Wings during their tenure.
The arena has a concert seating capacity of 21,000 seated and at least 21,499 standing.
- 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. 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.
- Villanova University Wildcats of the NCAA; High-attendance home games for which the on-campus arena, The Pavilion, is inadequate to accommodate are played at the Wells Fargo Center
Former full time
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.
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 (2008–2014)
- 19,541 (2014–present)
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey (three games)
- 1997 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1998 United States Figure Skating Championships
- 1998 NLL Championship
- 1999 AHL All-Star Classic
- 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
- Wheel of Fortune from Philadelphia, 2004
- Wheel of Fortune Teen Best Friends Week, 2005
- 2005 AHL Calder Cup Finals
- 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, 1st & 2nd rounds
- WWE Survivor Series, 2006
- American Idol auditions, 2007
- U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics, 2008
- 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, 1st & 2nd rounds
- WWE Night of Champions, 2009
- UFC 101, 2009
- 2010 Stanley Cup Finals
- NCAA Men's Wrestling Championship, 2011
- 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, 2nd & 3rd rounds
- WWE Money in the Bank, 2013
- Harvest America, 2013
- NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship, 2014
- 2014 NHL Entry Draft
- PennApps XII, 2015
- 2016 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament East Regional
- 2016 Democratic National Convention
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- "Connecticut vs. Villanova - Box Score". ESPN. February 13, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- "Guns N'Roses Tour Canceled after Philadelphia Debacle". Billboard (AllBusiness.com). December 21, 2002. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- "Wells Fargo Center Celebrates 15 Years". The Philadelphia Inquirer. August 30, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Eichel, Larry (December 29, 2002). "Attendance dips for Flyers, 76ers". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
- "2003 National Hockey League Franchise Directory". SportsBusiness Journal. September 29, 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- Carchidi, Sam (January 12, 2009). "Biron Regaining His Playoff Touch". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- "NCAA taps Pa. for 2013, 2014 championship games". The Seattle Times. July 13, 2010.
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