Pro Sports Stadium Review: Wells Fargo Center

The Philadelphia Flyers, once known affectionately by their fans as “The Broad Street Bullies,” are no longer beating up the competition. They are also no longer playing their home games in the arena known as “The Spectrum.”

Today, this team from the “city of brotherly love” calls Wells Fargo Center home. Built in 1996 and opened that same year, it is located in Philadelphia’s Sports and Entertainment Complex. It is where the city’s baseball franchise, the Philadelphia Phillies and its football franchise, the Philadelphia Eagles, also play home games, each in their own ballpark.

While the Flyers currently call Wells Fargo Center home, they have played in arenas that had different names. These include Corestates Center, First Union Center and most recently, Wachovia Center.

Graphic via uwishunu

The newest arena, which has been home for the hockey team since 2010, seats as many as nineteen thousand five hundred forty one fans. For basketball games, arena capacity is twenty one thousand six hundred.

Seating for the Arena Football League (AFL) is limited to seventeen thousand five hundred ninety-seven fans while World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) events are performed before twenty one thousand six hundred animated people, most of them in their teens and twenties.

Wells Fargo Center cost two hundred ten million dollars to construct in 1996. If it were built today, that cost would skyrocket to three hundred sixteen million dollars.

This multi-purpose facility is currently home to a number of professional sports teams, including hockey Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), college basketball Villanova Wildcats and the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League (AFL).

Of course, those permanent tenants are joined by frequent visits from World Wrestling Entertainment which held its sports entertainment extravaganza, Wrestle Mania XV there in 1999 and countless music concerts.

The late, great Ray Charles was the first music artist to perform before an energized crowd in 1996. Other artists that have mesmerized audiences in Wells Fargo Center include the rock group Guns N’ Roses and singer-songwriter Billy Joel.

But this now famous arena is not just about team sports and great music. The 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championship intrigued fans during one very special evening while the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals had fans glued to their seats as the home town Flyers fought valiantly in their attempt to “drink from the cup.”

In an arena where every seat is good, the one hundred twenty-six luxury suites and one thousand eight hundred eighty club box seats offer extreme comfort and access to the building’s best restaurants and bars.

Clearly, Wells Fargo Center is a hit with tough-minded, often hard-to-please Philadelphia sports fans. They visit this building in large numbers, especially when the teams that play in the building are doing well.

These are good times in the city of the Liberty Bell.

Graphic via flickr


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