Wachovia Spectrum

Wachovia Spectrum

] ) which had been built more than four decades earlier (opened April 15, 1926). On September 23, 1926, an announced crowd of 120,557 packed the then new Stadium -- in the rain -- to witness Gene Tunney capture the world's heavyweight boxing title from Jack Dempsey, and for decades the monolith also served as the "neutral" venue for a total of 42 annual Army-Navy Games. JFK Stadium was demolished in 1992 to make way for a new indoor arena, the Wachovia Center, which opened in August, 1996. Originally known as the "CoreStates Center" (1996–1998) and then the "First Union Center" (1998–2003), the 20,000+ seat facility replaced the Spectrum as home to the NHL Philadelphia Flyers, NBA Philadelphia 76ers and NLL II Philadelphia Wings.

For thirty-three years, Veterans Stadium (opened 1971, closed 2003, demolished 2004), the third facility built at the complex to accommodate the MLB Philadelphia Phillies and NFL Philadelphia Eagles, was located immediately north of the Spectrum directly across Pattison Avenue. The "Vet" was replaced by two new facilities: a purpose built football/soccer stadium, Lincoln Financial Field (opened 2003), which is located directly across 11th Street from the Wachovia Center, and a new dedicated baseball stadium, Citizens Bank Park (opened 2004), located at the northeast corner of Pattison Ave. and Citizens Bank Way (11th St.) immediately east of the former Veterans Stadium site which is now occupied by a parking lot for the sports complex.

The "Rocky" Statue

portalpar|Philadelphia|Libertybell alone small.jpgA statue of Sylvester Stallone, depicting him in his famous role of Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa, stood for many years in front of the main (Pattison Avenue) entrance of the Spectrum which had been represented in the movie to be the site of Rocky's first and second fights with Apollo Creed. (The arena in which the fight sequences were actually filmed was the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.) The statue was removed several times over the years to be used in the filming of sequels to the original film. In September of 2006, however, it was given a permanent new home in an area near the base of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art not far from where it had appeared in a spot on the plaza at the top of the Museum's steps in the film "Rocky III". Other statues in the arena footprint include:

*"Score!", a statue depicting Gary Dornhoefer's game winning overtime goal in Game Five of the Flyers' 1973 Stanley Cup Playoffs quarterfinal series against the Minnesota North Stars;
*A statue of Kate Smith, the Flyers' good luck charm, whose rendition of "God Bless America" by Irving Berlin is believed to have helped the Flyers become back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions in 1974 and 1975;
*A statue of Julius Erving, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers from 1976 until 1987.

It is not known where these statues will be placed when the arena is razed.


Full time:
*Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL (also plays a few regular season and most Calder Cup playoff games at the adjacent Wachovia Center when the Spectrum is unavailable)
*Philadelphia KiXX of the NPSL / MISL II / NISLPart time:
*Philadelphia Soul of the AFL (a few regular season games when the Wachovia Center is unavailable) Former full time:
*Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL
*Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA
*Philadelphia Bulldogs of the RHI
*Philadelphia Freedoms of World Team Tennis (1974)
*Philadelphia Fever of the original Major Indoor Soccer League
*Both incarnations of the Philadelphia Wings (NLL I Original franchise 1974-75 and Eagle League/MILL/NLL II the current franchise 1987-1996)Former part time:
*Villanova University (some high-profile men's basketball home games which the on-campus arena, The Pavilion, is too small to accommodate)

Notable events

* NBA All-Star Game - 1970, 1976
* NHL Stanley Cup Finals - 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1985, 1987
* NHL All-Star Game - 1976, 1992
* NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament - 1976 and 1981 Men's Final Four (both won by Indiana); 1980 East Regional (won by Iowa) and 1992 East Regional (won by Duke).
* NBA Finals - 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983
* MILL Championship - 1989, 1992, 1994, 1995
* WWF SummerSlam '90 - 1990
* WWF King of the Ring - 1995
* AHL Calder Cup Finals - 1998
* NPSL Championship - 2001
* MISL Championship - 2002


External links

* [http://www.rememberthespectrum.com Remember the Spectrum] - a tribute to the arena

succession box
title = Home of the
Philadelphia Flyers
years = 1967 – 1996
before = first arena
after = Wachovia Center
succession box
title = Home of the
Philadelphia 76ers
years = 1967 – 1996
before = Convention Hall &
Philadelphia Arena
after = Wachovia Center
succession box
title = Home of the
La Salle Explorers
years = 1996 – 1998
before = Philadelphia Civic Center
after = Tom Gola Arena
succession box
title = Host of the
NHL All-Star Game
years = 1976
before =
Montreal Forum
Chicago Stadium
after =
Pacific Coliseum
Montreal Forum
succession box
title = Host of the
NBA All-Star Game
years = 1970
before =
Baltimore Civic Center
Veterans Memorial Coliseum
after =
San Diego Sports Arena
succession box
title = NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue
years = 1976
before =
San Diego Sports Arena
Market Square Arena
after =
The Omni
Louisiana Superdome

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