Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia is a sport’s fans mecca with every possible franchise at the professional level and more than 20 area colleges offering athletic programs. One of the busiest sports venues throughout the year is the Wells Fargo Center. Opening in 1996, the arena plays host to the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and selected college basketball games of the Villanova Wildcats. Wells Fargo Center has a seating capacity of 19,600 for hockey and 21,000 for basketball. The facility offers 126 suites and 1,880 club box seats.
The 76ers have a long history in the NBA, as they go back to 1945.They were NBA champions in 1955,1967 and 1983. Among the players who have worn the red white and blue uniform are Moses Malone, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Dr. J, Wilt Chamberlain, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson.
The food and beverage offerings at the Wells Fargo Center cover about every type of food a fan could want. In addition to the usual arena fare you will be able to find many of the foods Philadelphia is known for, including outlets for Chickie and Pete’s, Campo’s Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks and Lorenzo’s Pizza. Other restaurants with stands at the arena include Shake Shack, The Loop Artesian Pretzels, Crown Food’s Funnel Cake, Nick’s Roast Beef, Dietz and Watson’s and Old City Brewhouse.
A sampling of prices for some of the more commonly purchased items includes hot dogs ($6), pizza ($4.75), cheesesteaks ($10), chicken sandwiches ($6), hamburgers ($10), popcorn ($5) and pretzels ($5). Brand sodas are sold in the arena for $6.00 for a regular size and $7.50 for the souvenir size. Domestic beers are $8 and premium brands are $11.
There are two sit-down restaurants within Wells Fargo Center. The Cure Insurance Club opens two hours prior to the contest and offers food from Chickie and Pete’s as well as Campo’s. There are more than 30 TV’s for you to watch games from around the league over the bar. P.J. Welihans offers pub style food and has a great selection of craft beers.
Philadelphia is highly regarded as a city that preserves its history very efficiently. The same can be said for the Wells Fargo Center and its many exhibits lining the concourse which focus on the long and successful history of the 76ers. These exhibits feature looks at the championship teams of the past and the players who made these landmark achievements possible. Other exhibits look at the various uniforms the team has worn over the years. There is even an exhibit devoted to the Spectrum, the predecessor of the Wells Fargo Center, as it hosted some of the most successful years in the team’s history.
Once inside the seating bowl area you can’t help to but notice the enormous scoreboard hanging over midcourt. The video board portion is one of the largest in the NBA and provides constant replays of the action on the floor and information on upcoming events. Other sections of the board provide statistical information on individual scoring, number of fouls and the shooting percentage. If it is not on the scoreboard, there is a ribbon board surrounding the entire seating bowl with information.
Another impressive aspect of the Wells Fargo Arena are the many banners hanging from the rafters. It features banners for championship years for both the 76ers and Flyers over the years, as well as banners saluting Philadelphia players who have had their numbers retired.
If this is not enough to fire you up for the 76ers, the player introductions will. The pregame program features a video montage of great 76ers moment followed by a very impressive light show on the court. Also on hand to fire up the crowd are Franklin, the team mascot, as well as the Dream Team dance squad.
Wells Fargo Arena is in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. Its immediate neighbors include Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles and Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Sports Complex is located 5 miles south of the Philadelphia Historic District and three miles north of Philadelphia International Airport off I-95. The stadiums do not schedule concurrent events so that the parking facilities can be shared amongst each other.
The complex is somewhat isolated as far as having restaurants located nearby, but there are two exceptions. Xfinity Live! Is an eat / drink/entertainment center located off the same parking lot as the stadiums. The facility includes 1100 Social, the PBR Club, Victory Beer Hall and the NBC Sports Arena. This area offers a huge screen for viewing parties for the different Philadelphia sports franchises when they are on the road. The closest lodging to Wells Fargo Center is the Holiday Inn- Philadelphia Stadium. It is located adjacent to the Sports Complex as well.
It would be a shame for you to confine your visit to Philadelphia to just sports events. Downtown and the Philadelphia Historic District are just five miles from the Wells Fargo Center. It is an easy drive, or you can board the Broad Street Subway line (Orange Line) at the AT&T /Pattison Avenue Station. You’ll quickly be visiting the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and of course… the Rocky Balboa statue. Hum the theme song as you climb the countless steps, then turn around and give all of Philadelphia your best victory pose! One other suggestion is to check out the many wonderful museums throughout the city.
Over the years Philadelphia sports fans have earned a reputation for being mean (remember Santa being pelted with snow balls?) and rough on visitors. There was a time where that was true. Its’ not that they have become mellow…… but they express their passion for their sports teams in a more positive fashion these days. The Philadelphia fanbase is energized by all their sports teams this season, as the Eagles won the Super Bowl, Villanova won the NCAA basketball title and both the Sixers and the Flyers have earned spots in the playoffs for the first time in many seasons.
Sixer fans are especially excited by having a young team that figures to be very competitive for the foreseeable future. Basketball is a religion in Philly and the worshipers are filling the Wells Fargo Center on a regular basis to sing the praises of the Sixers.
Philadelphia is one of the largest cities on the I-95 corridor in the northeastern section of the country. As a result, traffic can become a major issue, especially when a winter storm comes through. In most cases I-95 is the most direct way to the Wells Fargo Center, which is located just off the Broad Street/Sports Complex exit from I-95. Once you exit there are more than 6,000 parking spaces available in and around the arena.
If you are coming south from downtown Philadelphia, a second option is to take the Orange Line of the Broad Street Subway Line south to the AT& T Station (Pattison Avenue).
Return on Investment 3
The 76ers and the Wells Fargo Center employs a variable pricing structure like the airlines (i.e. the more popular the game…. the more the ticket costs) Games involving longtime rivals such as Boston and New York will always be higher priced. To save on tickets 1) Buy the tickets as early as possible to avoid a sellers’ market 2) Try to find games during the week, as weekend games are almost always more expensive 3) Explore secondary market sites like Ticket Monster or StubHub to find deals from fans who are unable to attend and want to get rid of their tickets (many times at less than face value). The range on a low demand game starts at $16 for an upper deck end zone seat to more than $100 for a lower level seat one of the sidelines
Parking at the Wells Fargo Center runs around $20.The concession prices are higher than street value, but what you would expect at pro sports event.
The Wells Fargo Center has hosted several basketball events over the years. In addition to the 76ers home games, the facility has been the site of the 2002 NBA All Star Game, the 2001 NBA Final, the 2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four, Villanova University basketball and several years of service during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at several levels.
Due to its heavy schedule of events, the arena must be able to convert the facility from one sport to another very efficiently. It takes two hours and ten minutes to change the arena from a basketball floor to a hockey rink.
The Wells Fargo Center must hold the record for most banners hanging from the rafters. In addition to saluting both the Flyers and 76ers championships, there are banners honoring the star players who have had their numbers retired over the years. Villanova University also hangs its NCAA National Championship and Big East banners at the arena. Even musical artists such as Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen have banners in their names, saluting them for having more than 50 concerts each in the Wells Fargo Center.
The city of Philadelphia deserves its own extra for its wealth of history and its great food.
The City of Brotherly Love did not earn its name because of its sports fans. However, it is hard to criticize them for their passion and love for their sports teams. The Wells Fargo Center provides a wonderful venue to watch some of the most heated and storied rivalries in professional sports.
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This current building opened in 1996 as the CoreStates Center and is home not just to the 76ers but to the Flyers, Soul (Arena Football League), as well as selected Villanova Wildcats basketball games. It is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex with fellow venues Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park. It is a large arena, holding 20,318 seats, and is a venue for the largest touring concerts and events that come through the area. It is a busy place.
Now that the Sixers are competitive again, the fans are coming back to the Wells Fargo Arena. It&#039s a big place, but has great sight lines thoughout. The biggest drawback is the neighborhood. Sure, it&#039s convenient to have all your stadiums in one location, but it means that there isn&#039t much around except for parking lots. If you venture outside of the Stadium Complex, there isn&#039t much around in South Philly. The fans here get a bad rep, but as long as you aren&#039t a jerk, you won&#039t have any problems.