It is the home arena 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. The Center was completed in 1996 to replace the Spectrum as the home arena of the 76ers, Flyers and Wings, on what was once the site of John F. Kennedy Stadium (originally Philadelphia Municipal Stadium) at a cost of $206 million, largely privately financed (though the city and state helped to pay for the local infrastructure).
The Wells Fargo Center lies at the southwest corner of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park.
Before its construction, the proposed arena was tentatively called "Spectrum II". The Center 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. However, the contract has gone through multiple hands due to various mergers; first by First Union Bank in 1998, Wachovia in 2003, and finally by Wells Fargo in July 2010. Installation of the new Wells Fargo Center branding began on July 27, 2010, with the removal of the Wachovia Center signage, followed by the installation of the new Wells Fargo Center signage, which was completed in September 2010.
The Center officially seats 20,444 for basketball (NBA, NCAA) and 19,537 for hockey (NHL) 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 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 Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia are all located in the facility.
On June 9, 2010, the Center set the record for the highest attendance for an indoor hockey game in the state of Pennsylvania (20,327) when the Flyers lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Center also set a record for the highest attendances for a college basketball game in the state of Pennsylvania on February 13, 2006, when Villanova University played and defeated the #1 ranked University of Connecticut before a crowd of 20,859.
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 Center's 10-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 Spectacor.
The PA announcer at the Center for Philadelphia Flyers games is Lou Nolan, who moved with the team from the Spectrum, where he had worked since 1972. Matt Cord is the PA announcer for Philadelphia 76ers games. Kevin Scholla is the PA announcer for Villanova basketball games.
On August 12, 1996, a private concert by Ray Charles was performed with a crowd of nearly 12,000. Each spectator was given a commemorative key acknowledging they helped "open the arena". The inaugural concert, on September 2, 1996, featured Oasis with Manic Street Preachers and Screaming Trees, before an estimated crowd of 12,000. The Center has since held other concerts by many famous artists.
On December 6, 2002, hard rock band Guns N' Roses was scheduled to perform there on their Chinese Democracy Tour. The opening bands CKY and Mixmaster Mike went on to perform as usual, but the main act, Guns N' Roses, never showed up, fueling a riot in the arena and causing about $30,000 to $40,000 in damage. No reason was ever given for the non-appearance by Guns N' Roses, other than the public announcement that one of the band members was sick.
In 2006, Billy Joel set a Complex record for most sellouts at the Center, 17. Only The Grateful Dead have sold out more shows at the Complex, 53, all at the now-closed Spectrum.
In addition, hanging from the rafters of the Center are two banners in the orange and black colors of the Flyers honoring both Billy Joel's 48 Philadelphia sellouts and Bruce Springsteen's 51 Philadelphia sellouts.
- Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA
- Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL
- Philadelphia Wings of the NLL
- Philadelphia Soul of the AFL
- 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.
Former part time
- Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL); the Flyers' AHL development club played some regular season and Calder Cup playoff games at the Center each season between 1996 and 2009 when the Spectrum was unavailable because of other events.
- Philadelphia Soul of the original AFL; split games between the Center and the Spectrum between 2004 and 2008; AFL folded in 2009. Soul returned in 2011 (see above).
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey (three games)
- WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games, 1996
- 1997 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1998 United States Figure Skating Championships
- 1998 NLL Championship
- 1999 AHL All-Star Classic
- WWE WrestleMania XV, 1999
- 2000 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four
- 2000 Republican National Convention
- WWE Unforgiven, 2000
- 2001 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional
- 2001 NBA Finals
- The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship at the Center, winning Game 5 and the series, 4-1.
- X Games VII, 2001
- 2002 NBA All-Star Game
- X Games VIII, 2002
- WWE Royal Rumble, 2004
- The West Wing site for fictional Republican Convention, 2004–05 season
- 2005 AHL Calder Cup Finals
- The Philadelphia Phantoms won the Calder Cup at the Center, defeating the Chicago Wolves in Game 4 and winning the series, 4-0.
- NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, first and second rounds, 2006, 2009
- WWE Survivor Series, 2006
- American Idol auditions, 2007
- U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics, 2008
- WWE Night of Champions, 2009
- UFC 101, 2009
- 2010 Stanley Cup Finals
- The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup at the Center, winning Game 6 and the series, 4-2.
- 2011 NCAA Men's Wrestling Championship
- UFC 133, 2011
- 2014 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship
- List of indoor arenas in the United States
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- Seravalli, Frank (2010-07-02). "It's officially the Wells Fargo Center". Philly.com. Philadelphia Media Holdings. http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/97648719.html. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
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- "Philadelphia Daily News Business Buzz Column. (Originated from Philadelphia Daily News)". http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5553/is_199307/ai_n22291247. Template:Dead link
- "The Building the Flyers and Sixers Play in" Prepares for Yet Another New Name". February 12, 2010. The700Level.com. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- DiStefano, Joseph N. (July 28, 2010). "PhillyDeals: Sixers-Flyers arena gets a new name—again". Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=PhillyDeals%3A+Sixers-Flyers+arena+gets+a+new+name+-+again&expire=&urlID=432340472&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.philly.com%2Finquirer%2Fbusiness%2F20100728_PhillyDeals__Sixers-Flyers_arena_gets_a_new_name_-_again.html&partnerID=165936&cid=99444564. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- "Flyers break single-season attendance record". NHL.com. June 9, 2010. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=531345. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "Connecticut vs. Villanova - Box Score". ESPN. February 13, 2006. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=260440222.
- "NCAA taps Pa. for 2013, 2014 championship games". The Seattle Times. July 13, 2010. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2012347756_aphkcncaafrozenfour.html.