Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia)

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Wells Fargo Center
Wells Fargo Center Logo.svg
Wells Fargo Center - 2019 OWL Grand Finals.jpg
Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia in 2019
Wells Fargo Center is located in Philadelphia
Wells Fargo Center
Wells Fargo Center
Location of the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia
Wells Fargo Center is located in Pennsylvania
Wells Fargo Center
Wells Fargo Center
Location in Pennsylvania
Wells Fargo Center is located in the United States
Wells Fargo Center
Wells Fargo Center
Location in the United States
Former names
Address3601 South Broad Street
LocationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Coordinates39°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
Public transitMetro interchange SEPTA.svg NRG station: Bus transport SEPTA.svg SEPTA bus: 4, 17
OwnerPhiladelphia Flyers Comcast Spectacor
Capacity
Construction
Broke groundSeptember 14, 1994
OpenedAugust 13, 1996[9]
Construction costUS$210 million
($384 million in 2021 dollars[5])
ArchitectEllerbe Becket
Project managerFox Management Company[1]
Structural engineer
[6]
Services engineerFlack & Kurtz[7]
General contractorL.F. Driscoll Co.[8]
Tenants

The Wells Fargo Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Philadelphia. It serves as the home of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The arena lies at the southwest corner of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Xfinity Live!.

The Wells Fargo Center, originally called Spectrum II, was completed in 1996 to replace the Spectrum as the home arena of the 76ers and Flyers, on the former site of John F. Kennedy 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. Since opening, it has been known by a number of different names through naming rights deals and bank mergers, including CoreStates Center from 1996 to 1998, First Union Center from 1998 to 2003, and Wachovia Center from 2003 to 2010. Since 2010, naming rights have been held by financial services company Wells Fargo, after their acquisition of Wachovia. CoreStates Financial Corporation was acquired by First Union, which later also purchased Wachovia National Bank to rename itself Wachovia Corporation; the combined company was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008.

In addition to hosting home games for its main tenants, the arena has been the site of a number of other notable athletic events including Games 1 and 2 from the 1997 and Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2001 NBA Finals, and various collegiate events for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Wells Fargo Center has hosted two political conventions, hosting the 2000 Republican National Convention and 2016 Democratic National Convention. The arena is a regular venue for concerts and WWE events. The arena has a concert seating capacity of 21,000 seated and at least 21,500 standing.

Naming rights[edit]

The Wells Fargo Center, then named the Wachovia Center, in December 2005

Prior to its construction, the proposed arena was tentatively called "Spectrum II".[10] The Wells Fargo Center was originally named for CoreStates Financial Corporation, 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.

The contract went through multiple hands due to various bank mergers; first by First Union in 1998, Wachovia in 2003, and currently by Wells Fargo since July 2010.[11][12][13] 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.[14]

During in the 2015–16 NBA season for a short time, the 76ers ceased recognizing Wells Fargo's naming rights and referred to the facility exclusively as "The Center", as the institution was not a sponsor of the team. The Wells Fargo Center logo decal which sat on the 76ers court was in the most minimal text discernible by television cameras, colored in white to blend in with the floor. (Reportedly, 76ers CEO Scott O'Neil's first idea was to color it with clear-coat paint only visible with UV blacklighting showing the logo during the opening of Sixers games when the arena lights were drawn down; however, the team, after discussion with their lawyers, elected not to do so.) With the start of the new year in January 2016 with input from Comcast Spectacor, the logo decal was enlarged and repainted in black. The 76ers then signed a non-signage sponsorship agreement with Firstrust Bank as their official banking sponsor.[15][16][17][18]

Facilities[edit]

Rink-side view of the Wells Fargo Center's hockey rink during a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Columbus Blue Jackets in February 2018.
The Philadelphia 76ers warming up prior to a game vs the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets) on the arena's old floor design in October 2007.
Flyers fans leaving the Wachovia Center after a playoff game in 2010

The Wells Fargo Center officially seats 20,318 for NBA and NCAA basketball and 19,541 for NHL hockey[1] and indoor NLL lacrosse. With additional standing-room admissions available in luxury and club-box suites, the total paid capacity increases. The Wells Fargo 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 Philadelphia are all located in the facility.

On June 10, 2005, the Wachovia 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 Wachovia 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.[19] The Wells Fargo Center also set a record for the highest attendances for a college basketball game in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania on January 29, 2017, when Villanova played and defeated Virginia before a crowd of 20,907.

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 Wachovia 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 public address (PA) announcer at the Wells Fargo 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. Vinnie Caligiuri was the PA announcer for the Philadelphia Soul during their tenure.[20] Kevin Casey handled PA duties for the original Philadelphia Wings during their tenure. Marc Farzetta is the PA announcer for the current Philadelphia Wings.[21]

Wells Fargo Center continued further renovations as part of a $265 million "Transformation 2020" initiative. It debuted a new kinetic 4K-resolution scoreboard in September 2019 also by ANC Sports, which features two main arrays of outside displays that can expand outwards to a width of 62 feet (19 m), and two 65 foot (20 m) "crown" panels that can be raised and lowered as part of sequences. The arena also unveiled a new premium area for selected ticketholders known as the "Center City Club", and—as part of a partnership with Rivers Casino Philadelphia—two sportsbook lounges open to all visitors, which will feature a bar and seating areas, televisions and odds boards, and Rivers Casino ambassadors promoting use of the casino's sports betting app.[22][23][24][25]

The arena also announced the New City Terrace, a revamp of the standing room deck into a 23,000 square foot (2,100 m2) "Assembly Room" (inspired by Independence Hall), with bars and eateries, fireplaces, and communal areas. The area is designed to provide a "first-class experience at an accessible price point"; the arena's cheapest tickets will feature access to the level.[26][27]

Concerts[edit]

Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel sellout banners hanging in the Wells Fargo Center rafters
  • On August 13, 1996, a private concert by Ray Charles was the first event at the CoreStates 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.[9] The Wells Fargo 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.[28]
  • In 2006, Billy Joel set a record when he sold-out his 18th Wachovia Center concert.[29]

In addition, hanging from the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center are three banners in the orange and black colors of the Flyers honoring Pearl Jam's 10, Billy Joel's 48 Philadelphia sellouts and Bruce Springsteen's 56[30] Philadelphia sellouts respectively.

Tenants[edit]

The Flyers playing the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center in March 2014
The 76ers playing the Los Angeles Lakers at the Wells Fargo Center in December 2016
Villanova Wildcats' 1985 and 2016 NCAA national championship banners on display in the Wells Fargo Center rafters; the Wildcats play select home games at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Villanova Wildcats playing the Ohio Bobcats at the Wells Fargo Center in November 2019
The Wells Fargo Center before a Flyers game in December 2019

Full time[edit]

Part time[edit]

Former full 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 Wells Fargo Center each season between 1996 and 2009 when the Spectrum was unavailable because of other events.

Capacity[edit]

Notable events[edit]

The then-Wachovia Center prior to a Flyers game against the New York Islanders in February 2009
The arena, then named the Wachovia Center, during a Philadelphia Soul game in July 2008
The AHL Phantoms winning the 2005 Calder Cup before a crowd of 20,103 on June 10, 2005 in the arena

Sports[edit]

Esports[edit]

Television[edit]

Politics[edit]

Controversy[edit]

In October 2019, center staff removed fans shouting "Free Hong Kong" at a pre-season basketball game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Guangzhou Loong Lions.[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "2014-2015 Philadelphia Flyers Media Guide" (PDF). National Hockey League. p. 10. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "Wachovia Center Renamed As Wells Fargo Center". The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 27, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Team/Arena Info: Philadelphia Flyers". National Hockey League. 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  4. ^ "2017 Arena Football League Blue Book" (PDF). Arena Football League. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  5. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  6. ^ "Case Histories" (PDF). Chance Civil Construction. May 8, 2009. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "The Wachovia Center". LF Driscoll Co. 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Wells Fargo Center History". Comcast Spectacor, L.P. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  10. ^ Ford, Bob; McCoy, Craig; Macnow, Glen (November 30, 1993). "Spectrum II In Peril Again". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  11. ^ Seravalli, Frank (July 2, 2010). "It's Officially the Wells Fargo Center". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "The Building the Flyers and Sixers Play in" Prepares for Yet Another New Name". February 12, 2010. The700Level.com. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  14. ^ DiStefano, Joseph N. (July 28, 2010). "PhillyDeals: Sixers-Flyers Arena Gets a New Name—Again". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  15. ^ "Sixers Decide To No Longer Refer To Home Arena As The Wells Fargo Center". Associated Press. 10 June 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Bell, Demetrius. "Sixers take passive-aggressive shot at Wells Fargo with logo placement on court". SportsLogos.Net News. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  17. ^ Bell, Demetrius. "Sixers enlarge Wells Fargo logo on court". SportsLogos.Net News. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  18. ^ Firstrust Bank looks past 76ers’ Wells Fargo arena deal in new sponsorship
  19. ^ "Flyers Break Single-Season Attendance Record". National Hockey League. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  20. ^ "Voices of the Soul | PhiladelphiaSoul.com". Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  21. ^ "MARC FARZETTA BECOMES THE VOICE OF THE WINGS". Philadelphia Wings. 2018-11-01. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  22. ^ Maykuth, Andrew. "Rinkside wagering: Flyers, Wells Fargo Center make SugarHouse their official sportsbook". Inquirer.com. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  23. ^ "You can 'bet' the fan experience at Flyers games is about to be much different". NBC Sports Philadelphia. 2019-09-04. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  24. ^ Hernandez, Kristian (26 September 2019). "Wells Fargo Center Lifts First-Ever 4K Kinetic Scoreboard to the Rafters in South Philadelphia". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  25. ^ Narducci, Marc. "New Kinetic 4K Scoreboard, Center City Club, unveiled at Wells Fargo Center". Inquirer.com. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  26. ^ Sigafoos, Stephanie. "An over-the-top overhaul: This part of Wells Fargo Center's $265 million facelift screams HGTV instead of NHL hockey". mcall.com. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  27. ^ "Wells Fargo Center introduces $25 standing room tickets to Flyers games". phillyvoice.com. 11 September 2019. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  28. ^ "Guns N'Roses Tour Canceled after Philadelphia Debacle". Billboard. AllBusiness.com. December 21, 2002. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  29. ^ "Wells Fargo Center Celebrates 15 Years". The Philadelphia Inquirer. August 30, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  30. ^ Matlack, Bennett [@bbqaficionado] (February 13, 2016). "@springsteen Look out Joe DiMaggio! #RiverTourPhilly" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  31. ^ "Villanova University Official Athletic Site - Tickets". Archived from the original on 2012-10-20.
  32. ^ a b Eichel, Larry (December 29, 2002). "Attendance dips for Flyers, 76ers". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ "2015-2016 Philadelphia 76ers Media Guide" (PDF). National Basketball Association. November 16, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ "2003 National Hockey League Franchise Directory". SportsBusiness Journal. September 29, 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  39. ^ Carchidi, Sam (January 12, 2009). "Biron Regaining His Playoff Touch". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  40. ^ "2015-2016 Philadelphia Flyers Media Guide" (PDF). National Hockey League. 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  41. ^ "The National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2017" (PDF). National Hockey League. 2016. p. 102. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  42. ^ Chiappetta, Mike (February 2, 2011). "Philadelphia Targeted for UFC 133". MMAfighting.com. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  43. ^ "NCAA taps Pa. for 2013, 2014 championship games". The Seattle Times. July 13, 2010.
  44. ^ "2016 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions takes center stage beginning Sept. 15". usagym.org. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  45. ^ "NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia comes to Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, Jan. 27". WWE. November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  46. ^ Ileto, Christie (9 October 2019). "Sixers fan supporting Hong Kong ejected from preseason game amid NBA-China controversy". 6abc Philadelphia. WPVI-TV Philadelphia.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Villanova utilized the venue full-time 2017–2018, part-time in other years.
  2. ^ Phantoms utilized the venue full-time 2004–2005, part-time in other years.

External links[edit]