South Philadelphia Sports Complex

South Philadelphia Sports Complex

The South Philadelphia Sports Complex (once known as East League Island Park) is the home to Philadelphia's current sports teams. It is the site of the Wachovia Center, the Wachovia Spectrum, Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park.

History

The South Philadelphia Sports Complex was also once home to John F. Kennedy Stadium and Veterans Stadium. Prior to its development, it was a shanty town known as "The Neck" of the undeveloped League Island area formerly Passyunk Township. Oregon Avenue was the southern border end of the city up to the 1920s.

esquicentennial Exposition of 1926

In 1926 the City selected south of Oregon Avenue for the 1926 Sesquicentennial International Exposition and developed the large river delta land south of Oregon Avenue. South Broad Street was a grand European styled boulevard surrounded by massive exhibit buildings and structures that were to be a testament to American science, culture, and progress for the future. Following the close of the celebration of this 150 years of American Independence on the Avenue of the Colonies of South Broad Street came quick total demolition except of the stadium.

John F. Kennedy Stadium

JFK Stadium opened in 1926 as Sesquicentennial Stadium for the 1926 Sesquicentennial International Exposition, and was renamed Philadelphia Municipal Stadium following the Exposition. The name was again changed in 1964 in honor of President John F. Kennedy. JFK Stadium was condemned in 1989 and demolished in 1992. JFK was home to the Philadelphia Quakers of the first American Football League, the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League, and 42 Army-Navy Games.

Packer Drive In Movies & Bowling

Prior to building Vet Stadium across Packer Avenue north of JFK Stadium was family entertainment of a bowing alley, and a Drive-in theater that was a venue creation of Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden and that peaked in popularity in the 1950s' and 1960's.

Veterans Stadium

Veterans Stadium, also known as "The Vet," opened in 1971, closed in 2003, and was demolished in 2004. The Vet was home to the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League and the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball's National League. The Vet also hosted two Major League Baseball All-Star Games and 17 Army-Navy Games.

Aquarama Aquarium Theater of the Sea

Aquarama existed between 1962 through 1969. It was located at 3200 South Broad Street bordering the Packer Park residential neighborhood in South Philadelphia. It was the successor to the first public Aquarium in the United States established in the City of Philadelphia and built in 1911 along the Schuylkill River north west of the Parkway's Art Museum in Center City. The relocated aquarium was augmented by elements of family fun exhibits, aquatic shows and the new public spaces hosted popular teen dances, a predminatedly Philadelphia venue that originated in South Philadelphia pop culture during the 1950's and 1960's with Ed Hurst, Jerry Blavat Dick Clark American Bandstand and other disc-jockeys. A movie theater and fast food burger chain, the 'Steer-in', was built on the site and then demolished in the 1990's making way for new residential and commercial development.

Current Facilities

The Wachovia Center, the Wachovia Spectrum, Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park are the current stadiums that create the Sports Complex. The Wachovia Center (formerly the CoreStates Center and the First Union Center) opened in 1996 and is home to the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Wings (NLL), and the Philadelphia Soul (AFL). The Wachovia Spectrum (formerly the Spectrum, the CoreStates Spectrum, and the First Union Spectrum), opened in 1967 and is the current home of the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL), Philadelphia KiXX (MISL), and Philadelphia Soul (AFL). The Spectrum was also the former home of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Philadelphia Wings. This facility will close at the end of the 2008-09 Phantoms season and will be demolished shortly after. Lincoln Financial Field (known as "The Linc") opened in 2003 and is home to the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL). Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004 and is home to the Philadelphia Phillies (NL).

ee also

*Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park

External links

* [http://phillyh2o.org/backpages/Morley_Neck_1919.htm Stonehouse Lane and the Neck, An essay from Travels in Philadelphia, by Christopher Morley, Philadelphia: David McKay Company, Publishers, 1920.]

References


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