Itinerant Fan

Wells Fargo Center

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It doesn’t seem like that long ago that Philadelphia went about revamping its Sports Complex in the south part of the city, building new venues for all four of its major sports franchises. Indeed, though, the Spectrum and Veterans Stadium are long gone, and the stadiums that replaced them are all more than 15 years old now.

While the Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field and the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park both opened in the early 2000s, the home of the Flyers and 76ers, Wells Fargo Center, has been around much longer, having replaced the Spectrum in 1996.

And so far, it has handled its formative years well, even as the year 2019 has brought some major changes — including a state-of-the-art center-hung scoreboardcenter-hung scoreboard and, famously, a “Rage Room” for some of the more passionate patrons to, um, vent their frustrations.

Wells Fargo Center has yet to gain the sentimentality among hometown fans that the Spectrum had, likely because the number of memorable events held there has yet to match its predecessor. Neither of the major tenants has won a championship since moving over, though both have hosted their respective league finals there.

Add in the many name changes over the years for the building, which began life as the CoreStates Center and has had a total of four different names, and it’s easy to see why getting established was such a challenge. But Wells Fargo Center isn’t going anywhere soon, and it will continue to be filled with the fervent fans of Philadelphia for some time to come. Read on to find out more about what the arena has to offer.

For more on visiting Philadelphia, check out our Philadelphia city guide.

  •   The Approach

    Wells Fargo Center sits in South Philly, in what’s known as the Sports Complex. It shares space — and a vast ocean of parking lots — with Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field. Once upon a time, the old Spectrum and the Rocky statue also sat in this complex, but with the Spectrum now gone (more on what replaced it in “The Build-Up” below), the Rocky statue has been moved near the Philadelphia Museum of Art (appropriately, near the Rocky steps).

    Getting to Wells Fargo isn’t particularly difficult, as it’s near I-95. Most drivers exit via Broad Street — the very same street from which the nickname “Broad Street Bullies”“Broad Street Bullies” was derived to describe the title-winning Flyers of the mid-1970s. From there, proceed north and you’ll find helpful signs and, likely, traffic cops directing you into one of the lots surrounding the arena.

    If you’re car-less, the SEPTA Orange Line‘s southern terminus is at the edge of the sports complex, at NRG Station. Any of the three venues are a short walk from this train station, though Wells Fargo is the closest of the three to the station.

  •   The Build-Up

    The only problem with the sports complex is that there’s really not a whole lot around it, as far as bars or hangouts go. There is a spot called Xfinity Live that replaced the former footprint of The Spectrum, and that’s got some eateries and watering holes. Xfinity Live is closer to Citizens Bank Park than it is to Wells Fargo, so you’ll have to hike across the parking lot ocean to get there.

    A little farther away — as in, north of Citizens Bank Park — along Packer Avenue is the sports bar Chickie’s and Pete’s, which has a strong reputation among locals and is known for its crab fries, which are also sold inside the arena.

    More options could be arriving in the immediate vicinity in the coming years, including a planned casino complex just north of Citizens Bank Park., But until those come to pass, your choices mostly consist of one of the above, or hanging out in Philadelphia’s bustling Center City before heading to the game.

  •   The Ambiance

    Once you get inside Wells Fargo Center, it’s nice and cozy. The building has been around for more than 20 years, but it still feels modern and not terribly cramped. Still, a renovation set for completion in 2020 promises to bring even more creature comforts and an enhanced fan experience.

    The lower level has tributes to both the Flyers and Sixers scattered throughout, including a display commemorating the Sixers’ last run to the NBA Finals, the Flyers’ Hall of Fame, and an entire display of hats collected after various Flyers’ hat tricks over the years. You could easily spend a good chunk of time peering into the glass cases and spotting all the fun non-Flyers memorabilia that’s made its way in there, including a random bra.

    There are also bubble hockey machines spread throughout the concourses, particularly on the upper floor, so you can play your friends for a beer if you so desire.

    If you get there early, there is a P.J. Whelihan’s pub on the lower level with full seating if you’re looking for a place to hang out. As for other concessions options, you can find a number of Philly staples, such as the aforementioned crab fries from Chickie’s and Pete’s, cheesesteaks from Campo’sRita’s Italian Ice and Federal Donuts. Shake Shack, which seemingly is taking over every major sports venue on the East Coast, has set up shop here, too. For a full concessions guide, click here.

    Getting around the arena itself isn’t too hard, as there’s good signage everywhere, and people are pretty nice. You could hang out in the lower bowl for warmups — it’s pretty roomy down there, whether you decide to sit in the first few rows or hang out in the aisles. There are two escalators to the upper level and easy enough to get up there. (After the game, though, you’ll probably want to take the stairs down because these escalators get super crowded and claustrophobic.)

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The Particulars

Home Teams
Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia 76ers

Address
3601 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Year Opened
1996

Capacity
19,541 (hockey)
20,328 (basketball)

Upcoming Events
All times local
Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
8:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Jingle Ball with Halsey, 5SOS, Niall Horan, and more
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
7:30 pm
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New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers
Friday, December 13, 2019
7:00 pm
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The Misfits with Dropkick Murphys and Agnostic Front
Saturday, December 14, 2019
9:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Sunday, December 15, 2019
3:30 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »


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