Wachovia Center

Wachovia Center

stadium_name =Wachovia Center

location =3601 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
broke_ground =September 14 1994
opened =August 31 1996
owner =Comcast-Spectator L.P.
operator =Global Spectrum
construction_cost=$210 million
architect =Ellerbe Becket
former_names=CoreStates Center (1996–1998) First Union Center (1998–2003)
tenants=Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) (1996-present)
Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) (1996-present)
Philadelphia Wings (NLL) (1997-present)
Philadelphia Soul (AFL) (2004-present)
seating_capacity =21,600 (basketball)
19,519 (hockey)
17,486 (arena football)|

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 Soul of the AFL, Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, and the Philadelphia Wings of the NLL. 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 FU to Wachovia

Before its construction, the proposed arena was tentatively called "The Spectrum II". [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5553/is_199307/ai_n22291247 Philadelphia Daily News Business Buzz Column. (Originated from Philadelphia Daily News) | Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News | Find Articles at BNET ] ] 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 $15.1 billion), that Citi should purchase Wachovia. Six days later, Citigroup dropped the offer for Wachovia, and the arena will now be more than likely be branded with the Wells Fargo name.


The arena officially seats 21,600 for basketball (NBA, NCAA) and 19,519 for hockey (NHL, AHL) and indoor ("box") lacrosse (NLL), 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 the University of Connecticut before a crowd of 20,859. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=260440222 ESPN - Connecticut vs. Villanova - Box Score - February 13, 2006 ] ]

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.


The Wachovia Center has held numerous concerts of big-name stars such as Aerosmith, Christina Aguilera, Alice in Chains, Barenaked Ladies, Beyonce, Blink-182, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Mariah Carey, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Coldplay, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Miley Cyrus, Dave Matthews Band, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, The Eagles, Genesis, George Michael, Green Day, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, Billy Joel, Elton John, KISS, Korn, Avril Lavigne, Madonna, Barry Manilow, Paul McCartney, Metallica, New Kids On The Block, Stevie Nicks, Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Police, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Rush, Simon & Garfunkel, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Bruce Springsteen, Gwen Stefani, Barbra Streisand, Justin Timberlake, Shania Twain, U2, Van Halen, Velvet Revolver, Roger Waters, The Who, and Stevie Wonder, among others.

The inaugural concert was on September 2, 1996 by Oasis with Manic Street Preachers and Screaming Trees. An estimated crowd of 12,000 attended the show.

On December 6, 2002, hard rock band Guns N' Roses were scheduled to perform there on their Chinese Democracy Tour. The opening bands (CKY, Mixmaster Mike) went on to perform as usual, but the main act, Guns N' Roses, never showed up, fusing a riot in the arena and causing thousands of dollars in damage. No reason was ever given for the no-show of Guns N' Roses, other than the public announcer of the building citing that one of the band members was sick.

In 2006, Billy Joel set a complex record for most sellouts at the Wachovia/First Union/CoreStates Center - 17, for a Philadelphia total of 46. Only the Grateful Dead have sold out more shows at the complex - 53, all at the Spectrum.

In addition, hanging from the rafters of the Wachovia Center are two banners in the orange & black colors of the Flyers honoring both Billy Joel's 46 Philadelphia sellouts and Bruce Springsteen's 45 Philadelphia sellouts respectively.


Full time:
*Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL
*Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA
*Philadelphia Wings of the NLLPart time:
*Philadelphia Soul of the AFL (also plays some games at the adjacent Wachovia Spectrum)
*Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL (a few regular season and most Calder Cup playoff games when the Spectrum is unavailable)
*Villanova University Wildcats of the NCAA Big East Conference (some high-attendance men's basketball home games which the on-campus arena, The Pavilion, is inadequate to accommodate)

Notable events

*Host to Philadelphia's annual Wing Bowl
*1996 World Cup of Hockey, 1996 (three games)
*WWF , 1996
*NHL Stanley Cup Finals, 1997
*U.S. Figure Skating Championships (Olympic Trials), 1998
*NLL Championship, 1998
*AHL All-Star Classic, 1999
*WWF WrestleMania XV, 1999
*NCAA Tournament, Women's Final Four, 2000 (won by University of Connecticut)
*Republican National Convention, 2000
*WWF Unforgiven 2000
*NCAA Tournament, East Regional, 2001 (won by Duke University)
*NBA Finals, 2001
*X Games, 2001
*NBA All-Star Game, 2002
*X Games, 2002
*WWE Royal Rumble 2004
*"The West Wing" site for fictional Republican Convention, 2004–05 season
*AHL Calder Cup Finals, 2005
*NCAA Tournament, first and second rounds, 2006 and scheduled for 2009.
*WWE Survivor Series 2006
*"American Idol" auditions, 2007
*U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics, 2008
*NCAA Wrestling Championships, scheduled for 2011


External links

* [http://www.wachoviacenter.com Official Website]

succession box
title = Home of the
Philadelphia Flyers
years = 1996 – present
before = The Spectrum
after = current
succession box
title = Home of the
Philadelphia 76ers
years = 1996 – present
before = The Spectrum
after = current
succession box
title = Host of WrestleMania XV
years = 1999
before = Fleet Center
after = Arrowhead Pond
succession box
title = Host of the
NBA All-Star Game
years = 2002
before = MCI Center
after = Philips Arena
succession box
title = Host of the
Republican National Convention
years = 2000
before = San Diego Convention Center
after = Madison Square Garden

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