|Former names||CoreStates Center (1996–1998)|
First Union Center (1998–2003)
|Location||3601 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19148|
|Broke ground||September 14 1994|
|Opened||August 31 1996|
|Construction cost||United States $ 210 million|
17,486 (arena football)
|Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) (1996-present)|
Philadelphia 76ers (National Basketball Association) (1996-present)
Philadelphia Wings (National Lacrosse League) (1997-present)
Philadelphia Soul (Arena Football League) (2004-2008)1
The Wachovia Center, formerly known as the CoreStates Center and the First Union Center, is an indoor arena located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is the home arena of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League, and the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. The arena was completed in 1996 on what was once the site of John F. Kennedy Stadium at a cost of $206 million, largely privately financed (though the city and state helped to pay for the local infrastructure). The building lies at the southwest corner of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and the Wachovia Spectrum, its predecessor as home to the Flyers, 76ers, and Wings.
From CoreStates to First Union to Wachovia
Before its construction, the proposed arena was tentatively called "The Spectrum II". The arena 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. The naming rights were taken by First Union Bank in a merger in 1998 and then by Wachovia Bank in a 2003 merger with First Union.
While under the First Union name, it was affectionately referred to as the "F.U. Center" by Philadelphians. Due to this, a name alteration was considered, the "First Union National Center." However, this was met with much derision from fans and athletes who played in the facility, such as former Philadelphia Flyers forward Brantt Myhres, who said the name change would make the building sound like a "circus venue."
Battle between Citi and Wells Fargo
On September 29, 2008, the FDIC made moves to have Citigroup purchase all Wachovia banking operations during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, which more than likely included the naming rights being transferred in the deal. But four days later, Wells Fargo purchased all Wachovia banking operations; Citigroup and federal regulators insisted that because Citigroup offered to buy Wachovia first and for much less (Citi offered $2.1 billion compared to Wells Fargo $1.51 billion), that Citi should purchase Wachovia. On October 9, Citigroup dropped the offer for Wachovia, and the Wells Fargo/Wachovia merger closed on December 31, 2008. The arena name will change once the integration between Wells Fargo and Wachovia takes place, and once the basketball and hockey seasons end.
Wells Fargo currently has its name on two other arenas, on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe and in Des Moines, Iowa. The Des Moines venue is managed by Global Spectrum, which also manages the Wachovia Center.
The arena officially seats 21,600 for basketball and 19,519 for hockey and indoor ("box") lacrosse, although with additional standing room admissions available in suites for purchase by their lease holders the total paid capacity is actually somewhat greater. The Wachovia Center has 126 luxury suites, 1,880 club 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 CSN Philadelphia are all located in the facility.
On May 31, 1997, the building set the record for the highest attendance for a hockey game in the state of Pennsylvania (20,291) when the Flyers hosted the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The building also set a record for the highest attendance for a college basketball game in the state 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 be installing 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 NHL & NBA arenas. An additional linear LED display lining the entire arena was also installed between the suite and mezzanine levels. Other renovations for the building's 10th 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 Spectator.
The PA Announcer at the Wachovia Center for Philadelphia Flyers games is Lou Nolan, who moved with the team from the Spectrum where he had worked since 1972.
- World Cup of Hockey, 1996 (three games)
- NHL Stanley Cup Finals, 1997
- AHL All-Star Classic, 1999
- AHL Calder Cup Finals, 2005
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