The Wells Fargo Center, one of the busiest arenas in the world, is home of the
Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, the Philadelphia Flyers
of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse
League and the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.
After opening its doors for the first time with the World Cup of Hockey on August
31, 1996, the Wells Fargo Center has hosted a variety of nationally-followed events,
including the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, 1999 AHL All-Star Weekend, 2000
NCAA Women’s Final Four, 2000 Republican National Convention, 2001 NCAA Men’s East
Regional, 2001 NBA Finals, 2001 and 2002 ESPN X-Games, 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend, the
2006 NCAA Men’s First and Second Rounds, the 2008 U.S. Gymnastics Championships; the
2009 NCAA Men’s First and Second Round Tournament Games, the 1997 and 2010 Stanley Cup
Final, and the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
The Wells Fargo Center will host the 2013 NCAA Men’s Second and Third Round
Tournament Games, as well as the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four.
August 21, 1996
The ribbon cutting ceremony: The voice of the Flyers, Gene Hart, served as master
of ceremonies. Ed Snider cut the ribbon as Flyers President Bob Clarke and 76ers
President Pat Croce held the ribbon. Everyone attending the event received a
August 31, 1996
The inaugural event: Team USA vs. Team Canada in a first round game of the World
Cup of Hockey. A crowd of 19,500 attended the event. Team USA's John LeClair scored
the first goal ever in the CoreStates Center at 5:01 of the first period. Team USA
went on to win the contest 5-3.
September 2, 1996
The inaugural concert: Oasis with Manic Street Preachers and Screaming Trees.
An estimated crowd of 12,000 attended the show. Prior to the show, CoreStates
Complex President Peter Luukko and promoters Larry Magid and Allen Spivak
presented the band with a bronzed "first ticket" to the first concert ever at the
September 10, 1996
Game One of the World Cup of Hockey Finals: Team USA vs. Team Canada. Despite
Team USA scoring with seven seconds remaining in regulation on a John LeClair goal,
Team Canada prevailed in sudden-death overtime.
October 5, 1996
The Flyers played their first regular season game at the CoreStates Center, a 3-1
loss to the Florida Panthers. Dainius Zubrus became the youngest player in Flyers
history at 18 years, three months and 20 days old on opening night. Zubrus also
recorded his first NHL goal in the game.
October 7, 1996
The Flyers' first win at the CoreStates Center was also the 700th home victory
in franchise history--a 3-1 win vs. New Jersey.
October 8, 9 & 11, 1996
KISS, in full make-up, became the first band to play three nights at the Center.
The band was presented with bricks from "The Walk" prior to the third and final
night. October 11 was the first time that events took place in both buildings
simultaneously. The Phantoms hosted the Binghamton Rangers at the CoreStates
October 15-20, 1996
The first family show to play at the Center was Walt Disney's World on Ice -
The Spirit of Pocahontas. There were a total of 10 shows during the run.
April 26, 1997
The Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3, in Game Five of the Eastern
Conference Quarterfinals to win the series four games to one. It was the final
game in the illustrious career of Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux. The crowd gave
Lemieux a standing ovation at the end of the game.
May 31, 1997
In Game One of the Stanley Cup finals, 20,291 fans set a record for the largest
audience in Pennsylvania history to attend a hockey game.
January 5-11, 1998
Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski were among the skaters who earned berths to the
1998 Winter Olympic Games with their performances in the 1998 U.S. National
Championships held in the CoreStates Center.
April 26, 1998
The Philadelphia Wings win game one of a best of three NLL Championship series
against the Baltimore Thunder. The Wings would go on to defeat Baltimore two days
later at the Baltimore Arena to capture their fifth Championship in franchise
September 8, 1998
The first event at the Center under its new name, the First Union Center.
On July 15, 1998 an announcement was made about the name change and the beginning
of the transition. Garth Brooks, on the opening night of six sold out shows,
took the honor as the first event ever in the First Union Center.
January 24-25, 1999
During the AHL All-Star Weekend festivities, 13,028 fans filed into the First
Union Center to watch Team Canada defeat Planet USA 15-12 in the skills competition.
Planet USA exacted revenge the following day with a 5-4 victory on Chris Ferraro's
game winning goal in front of 14,120 spectators.
September 13-25, 1999
Bruce Springsteen sold out six shows at the First Union Center pushing his
total to 37 Philadelphia sellouts.
Friday, March 31, 2000 and Sunday, April 2, 2000
The road to the Final Four ended in Philadelphia, as "March Madness" culminated
with the sold out NCAA Women's Final Four at the First Union Center. The April 2nd
game drew 20,060 people, making this the largest crowd to see a college basketball
game-men's or women's-in Pennsylvania.
July 31, 2000
40,000 people attended the Republican National Convention each day either as a
media member, delegate, worker, or VIP, the First Union Complex became
Pennsylvania's 13th largest municipality for the four-day run of the convention.
March 22-24, 2001
The NCAA Tournament returned to Philadelphia for the first time since the
historic regional game between Kentucky and Duke in 1992 as the East Regional
was held in the First Union Center. Duke went on to defeat the University of
Southern California 79-69 to claim the region and advance to the Final Four in a
game that set a single-game attendance record for Pennsylvania college basketball
with 20,270 people.
June 13, 2001
20,900 fans packed the First Union Center to watch the 76ers take on the Los
Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. It was the 76ers' first appearance in
the finals since their championship season in 1983.
July 21-22, 2001
Madonna opened the United States portion of her Drowned Tour in Philadelphia on
July 21. The "Material Girl" sold out both of her scheduled concerts at the First
Union Center in 75 minutes.
August 17-22, 2001
The most anticipated event of the 2001 X-Games actually took place inside the
First Union Center as Kenny Bartram won the first ever Moto X Big Air competition
while AC/DC blasted throughout the arena, pumping up the crowd. The six-day event
hosted 235,000 people.
February 13-24, 2002
The piano playing dynamic duo Billy Joel and Elton John sold out six shows at
the First Union Center. The six shows, totaling in excess of 110,000 tickets, are
the most performances in one city on the "Face to Face" Tour.
August 15-19, 2002
The ESPN X-games welcomed its 2 millionth fan when the games came to
Philadelphia. The athletes showcased unprecedented tricks, introduced women's
exhibitions, and experienced a spectator fan base that exceeded the averages
July 27, 2003
The Center changes its name to the Wachovia Center. That evening, the
American Idols Live Tour performed as the first event in the Wachovia Center.
July 27, 2010
The Center changes its name to the Wells Fargo Center.
Since 1967, the Spectrum has opened its doors to thousands of events. From NHL to
NBA championships with the Flyers and 76ers, to Dorothy Hamill's first appearance with
the Ice Capades and Elvis Presley's last live performance, the building has hosted just
Construction of the arena occurred at a rapid pace so that the city's first National
Hockey League franchise, the Philadelphia Flyers, could compete in the 1967-68 NHL
season. Eleven months later, the Spectrum opened house for its first event ever, the
Quaker City Jazz Festival. The two-day concert appeared from September 30 to October
"This building was just an idea 16 months ago", said Ed Snider at the time.
"We got it done in record time."
First night patrons fought huge traffic tie-ups going into the parking lots,
delaying the jazz festival by fifty-five minutes.
The last of six main acts, which included Ramsey Lewis, Hugh Masakela and
comedian Flip Wilson, did not finish until 3 a.m. The second performance drew a
full house of 17,500 fans. It was the largest indoor audience in Philadelphia and
Pennsylvania history. A 12-day run of Holiday on Ice followed. Boxing was the
first sporting event at the young building, featuring a Joe Frazier vs. Tony Doyle
card, on Tuesday, October 17, 1967.
The next morning, the official dedication of the Spectrum took place under a
canopy by the main entrance. The 76ers played their first game at the Spectrum that
night, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 103-87.
The Flyers debuted in their new home on Thursday, October 19, 1967 with a 1-0
triumph over Pittsburgh.
GREAT MEMORIES AT THE SPECTRUM...
|First Concert (Quaker City Jazz Festival)
||September 30, 1967
|First Family Show (Holiday on Ice)
||October 3-15, 1967
|First Sport Event (Boxing/Joe Frazier v. Tony Doyle)
||Oct. 17, 1967
|First 76ers game
||October 18, 1967
|First Flyers game
||October 19, 1967
|20th Annual NBA All-Star Game
||January 20, 1970
|Kate Smith first sings before a Flyers game
||October 11, 1973
|Flyers win first Stanley Cup
||May 19, 1974
|Olga Korbut appears w/ Russian Gym Team
||November 10, 1974
|Flyers vs. Soviet Red Army
||January 11, 1976
|29th Annual NHL All-Star Game
||January 20, 1976
|26th Annual NBA All-Star Game
||February 3, 1976
||April 5, 1976
|First Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival
||February 1, 1977
|Elvis Presley's last Spectrum appearance
||May 28, 1977
|Bruce Springsteen's eight sold-out shows
|1981 NCAA Final Four- Indiana v. North Carolina
||March 30, 1981
|Bobby Clarke Night
||November 15, 1984
|Julius Erving Night
||April 17, 1987
|Flyers v. Edmonton Oilers-Game 6-Stanley Cup Finals
||May 28, 1987
|Frank Sinatra/Liza Minelli/Sammy Davis Jr
||September 27, 1988
|The Philadelphia Wings win their first National Lacrosse League Championship
||April 7, 1989
|Billy Joel's six-night engagement
|Wilt Chamberlain Night
||March 18, 1990
|Luther Vandross three sold-out shows
|43rd Annual NHL All-Star Game
||January 18, 1992
|1992 NCAA East Regionals-Duke vs. Kentucky
||March 28, 1992
|Grateful Dead's 50th Spectrum concert
||October 7, 1992
|Billy Joel's six-night engagement
|The Philadelphia Wings win their fourth NLL Championship
||April 8, 1995
|Mike Tyson vs. Buster Mathis Jr
||December 16, 1995
|76ers final Spectrum home game
||April 19, 1996
|Flyers final Spectrum home game (playoffs)
||May 12, 1996
|Phantoms win the Calder Cup
||June 10, 1998