Comcast Spectacor Marks Wells Fargo Center's 20th Anniversary on Aug. 31st
Tuesday | Aug. 30, 2016
Comcast Spectacor, owner and operator of the Wells Fargo Center, is set to recognize the venue’s 20th anniversary on Wednesday, Aug. 31, exactly 20 years to the day the arena opened its doors with the World Cup of Hockey in 1996.
“At Comcast Spectacor, we transform events into unforgettable experiences for our fans,” said John Page, President Wells Fargo Complex. “These experiences create excitement, turn heads and make everlasting memories for millions of guests and visitors.”
“Since opening in 1996, the Wells Fargo Center has been one of the busiest arenas in the world,” added Page. “When you look back at what we’ve been able to accomplish in only 20 years, it is remarkable. I don’t think there’s an arena anywhere that has done what we’ve done in a similar time span.”
Major Events at Wells Fargo Center
In fact, the arena has been the centerpiece of sports and entertainment in the Greater Philadelphia region and prominently featured nationally. In addition to being the home of the Philadelphia Flyers (National Hockey League) and the Philadelphia 76ers (National Basketball Association), the Wells Fargo Center, has hosted some of the most prestigious and historic national events and attractions, including:
Stanley Cup Finals (1997 and 2010)
U.S. Figure Skating Championships (1998)
Israel’s 50th Anniversary Gala (1998)
WrestleMania XV (1999)
American Hockey League All-Star Game (1999)
Republican National Convention (2000)
NCAA Women’s Final Four (2000)
NBA Finals (2001)
NCAA Men’s Basketball (2001, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016)
NBA All-Star Weekend (2002)
X Games (2001, 2002)
WWE Royal Rumble (2004, 2015)
AHL Calder Cup Finals (2005)
U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials (2008)
NCAA Wrestling Championships (2011)
NCAA Frozen Four (2014)
NHL Entry Draft (2014)
Democratic National Convention (2016)
“Our successes are really a tribute to our founder Ed Snider’s vision to build this state-of-the-art facility to put Philadelphia on the map and in the national spotlight,” added Page.
Attendance Records at Wells Fargo Center
Largest Professional Hockey Attendance: 20,327
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks on June 9, 2010
Largest Professional Basketball Attendance: 21,305
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls on April 17, 1998
Largest College Basketball Attendance: 20,859
Villanova University men’s basketball vs. University of Connecticut on Feb. 13, 2006
Largest Concert Attendance: 21,424
Backstreet Boys ‘Into the Millennium’ Tour on Sept. 29, 1999
*NOTE: Largest Attendance Ever at Wells Fargo Center
Largest Family Show Attendance: 286,884 (28 performances)
Disney on Ice Presents Frozen Dec. 25, 2013 through Jan. 4, 2014
Combined attendance at Wells Fargo Center
Total Flyers Home Attendance at Wells Fargo Center: 16,646,902
Total 76ers Home Attendance at Wells Fargo Center: 15,012,252
Team Wins at Wells Fargo Center
Flyers Home wins at Wells Fargo Center: 416
76ers Home Record at Wells Fargo Center: 424
Did You Know? Wells Fargo Center Fun Facts
“Got Your Hot Dogs Here!”: Over the past 20 years, customers consumed over 2 million hot dogs, 800,000 cheesesteaks, 2.8 million soft pretzels, 1.2 million boxes of popcorn, and 8.1 million soft drinks.
Prior to the first public event at the Wells Fargo Center, Ray Charles held a private concert at the then CoreStates Center on Aug. 12, 1996. The first concert open to the public was on Sept. 2, 1996; it featured Oasis with The Manic Street Preachers and The Screaming Trees before an estimated crowd of 12,000.
The first fan to ever enter the Wells Fargo Center was John Demmy, who attended the World Cup of Hockey game on Aug. 31, 1996. He attended the game with his son, Daniel.
The first goal ever scored at the Wells Fargo Center was by Team USA’s John LeClair at 5:01 of the first period of the inaugural event – the World Cup of Hockey – on Aug. 31, 1996.
*LeClair will skate through the Wells Fargo Center again as head coach for the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Thursday, September 22.
The first Flyers’ goal at the Wells Fargo Center was scored by (then) rookie Dainius Zubrus at 4:04 in the first period of the home opener against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 5, 1996.
The first Sixers point ever recorded at the Wells Fargo Center was a foul shot by Derrick Coleman with 10:35 left in the first quarter of the home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 1, 1996.
Sherrie Davis, of Pennsauken, N.J., was the 1 millionth fan to walk through the Wells Fargo Center when she attended a Philadelphia Flyers game on Jan. 9, 1997.
Israel’s 50th Anniversary Celebration began at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 24, 1998. Performing at the celebration were Richard Dreyfuss, Leonard Nimoy, Tony Bennett, Sarah Chang, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.
Garth Brooks is the first musical artist to play six consecutive sold-out shows at the Wells Fargo Center since the venue opened on Aug. 31, 1996. On Aug. 1, 1998, over 120,000 tickets for the Brooks concert were sold in three-and-a-half hours.
Metallica performed a free outdoor concert in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot, drawing 40,000, on Nov. 11, 1997.
Phish performed the national anthem before two Philadelphia Flyers games (1997, 1999).
The Barenaked Ladies is the only band to perform at both the Spectrum and the Wells Fargo Center in the same day (on October 3, 1998), when they performed the “Star Spangled Banner” before the Flyers game that afternoon.
Bruce Springsteen accomplished an unprecedented feat in Philadelphia music history when his tour traveled a distance of 758 feet, nine-and-a-half inches in less than one day from the Spectrum to the Wells Fargo Center to perform on back-to-back nights in September of 1999, attempting to set a Guinness Book of World Record for shortest distance traveled between two concert performances.
Will Smith filmed portions of his “Freakin' It" music video during half-time of a Sixers-Pacers game at the Wells Fargo Center in January 2000. WATCH
Brian McKnight sang the national anthem during the NBA Finals on June 10, 2001.
Boyz II Men national anthem during the NBA Finals on June 15, 2001.
Pennsylvania native Taylor Swift, at the time 11 years old, sang during a Sixers game in 2002. WATCH
The hit TV series Wheel of Fortune filmed a week of shows at the Wells Fargo Center in 2004 and hosted “Teen Best Friends Week” at the Wells Fargo Center in 2005.
Over 40,000 American Idol hopefuls attended the American Idol Season 7 Philadelphia auditions at the (then) Wachovia Center on Aug. 27, 2007.
March 24, 2010 - Bon Jovi performs two sold out shows on the same day at Wells Fargo Center. Jon Bon Jovi, keeping his word, delivered a free afternoon concert to celebrate the Philadelphia Soul's Arena Bowl Championship. The band also played a sold out show later that evening.
A Comcast Spectacor employee proposed to his girlfriend during the Ringling Bros. Circus on Valentine’s Day in 2014. (She said yes! And they are now happily married)
Hanging from the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center are three banners in the orange and black colors honoring Pearl Jam's 10 south Philadelphia sellouts, Billy Joel's 48 Philadelphia sellouts and Bruce Springsteen's 56 Philadelphia sellouts respectively.
Billy Joel has performed at the Wells Fargo Center more than any other artist (18).
Walking four and 3/8 laps around the main concourse of the Wells Fargo Center is equivalent to a mile.
Championships Won at Wells Fargo Center
In the 20-year history of the Wells Fargo Center, here is a list of past champions crowned at the home of the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers.
1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Todd Eldredge / Men’s
Michelle Kwan / Women’s
1999 WrestleMania XV
Stone Cold Steve Austin
2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four
* Connecticut’s Shea Ralph was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Both of the teams in the national championship were number one seeds.
2001 NCAA Men’s East Regionals
2001 NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers
2004 WWE Royal Rumble
2005 American Hockey League Championship
2010 Stanley Cup Finals
WWE Royal Rumble
2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships
2014 NCAA Frozen Four
*Current Flyer Shane Gostisbehere (Union) was named Most Outstanding Player.
2016 NCAA Men’s East Regionals
University of North Carolina
Year-long Celebration at Wells Fargo Center
Comcast Spectacor will commemorate the Wells Fargo Center’s 20th anniversary with a year-long celebration including:
On Aug. 31, members of the Wells Fargo Center’s CyberClub will receive an email with offers for $20 off select event tickets or 20% off select event tickets. To join the Wells Fargo Center’s free email CyberClub, visit www.WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com.
A social media campaign to include #ThrowbackThursday posts to celebrate some of the most significant moments in the Wells Fargo Center’s history. Fans are encouraged to share their favorite memories while joining the social media conversation by tagging the Wells Fargo Center and using #WFCTurns20.
Upcoming birthday party celebration and more to be announced throughout the year.
Birthday Party at Wells Fargo Center
Comcast Spectacor is set to treat Philadelphia sports and entertainment fans to a first-ever half-ice, half-court arena floor set-up during a free community open house birthday party at the Wells Fargo Center. Fans will be able to take a shot on the Flyers ice and a three-point attempt on the 76ers court, as well as capture a once-in-a-lifetime photo between both team logos at center ice/court and get a backstage experience of the world-class venue. In true birthday party fashion, all fans will receive official Wells Fargo Center party favors. More details to come at WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com.
2016-17 Season at Wells Fargo Center
As the Wells Fargo Center turns 20, Comcast Spectacor is in the finishing phases of enhancing the premium seating experience by renovating 82 luxury suites. The renovations of the mid-level suites include reconfiguration of the dining area and cabinetry to allow for additional space, removal of glass partitions that will allow for open-air viewing and better sight lines, as well as new, luxury tile flooring and carpeting.
Events, games and artists scheduled to help the Wells Fargo Center celebrate 20 years of history during the 2016-17 season are: Adele (Sept. 9 and 10), WWE Smackdown (Sept. 13), AC/DC (Sept. 20), USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game (Sept. 22), Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour (Sept. 23), Amy Schumer (Sept. 24), R. Kelly (Sept. 30), Kanye West (Oct. 4), Drake with Future (Oct. 13), Philadelphia Flyers (home opener on Oct. 20), Sia (Oct. 21), Philadelphia 76ers (home opener on Oct. 26), Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions (Nov. 4), Five Finger Death Punch & Shinedown (Dec. 1), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 17), Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart (Dec. 23 through Dec. 31), Eric Church (Jan. 25), Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff (Jan. 28), Game of Thrones live concert experience (Feb. 26), Cirque du Soleil (March 8 through March 12), and many more events to be announced. Tickets for all events are available at www.WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com.
To join the conversation, follow the Wells Fargo Center on social media and use #WFCTurns20:
Twitter: @WellsFargoCtr Facebook: WellsFargoCenter Instagram: WellsFargoCenter
To receive advance notice and special offers to future events, join the free Wells Fargo Center CyberClub at WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com.
The Wells Fargo Center showcases Comcast Spectacor’s industry-leading qualities as an operator and an innovator in the live event experience.
Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Corporation, a Fortune 50 media and technology company that operates Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., Comcast Spectacor owns and operates the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center venue, and Spectra, the expert in hosting and entertainment through its Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Ticketing & Fan Engagement divisions. Visit us at ComcastSpectacor.com, PhiladelphiaFlyers.com and WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com for more information.
CONTACT: August 30, 2016