It is a forgotten time. But once the NBA, like the NFL, played in smaller cities. The Syracuse Nationals were one such team playing in a smaller city. Beginning in 1946, the Nationals played a couple of years in the National Basketball League, before moving to the more established NBA in 1949. And they had success almost immediately in the NBA as they won the Eastern Division with a league best record of 51-13 in that first year, and nearly won the whole thing before succumbing to the Minneapolis Lakers.
The Nationals lasted until 1963, when as the last of the smaller cities in the league they really had very little chance but to move on. And move on they did, filling a void after the Philadelphia Warriors moved to San Francisco.
Between the two team/city identities, they have won the NBA championship three times (1955, 1967, and 1983).The most famous players of the franchise include Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson. During the run of the team they have accumulated the third-highest number of wins by a franchise in NBA history.
After playing their first few years after moving from Syracuse in the historic Palestra, the 76ers made their home for nearly 30 years at the Spectrum. The Spectrum was demolished in 2011, and stood near to where the Xfinity Live entertainment complex now resides.
Their current home opened in 1996 as the CoreStates Center and is home not just to the 76ers but to the Flyers, Soul (Arena Football League), as well as selected Villanova Wildcats basketball games. It is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex with fellow venues Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park. It is a large arena, holding 20,318 seats, and is a venue for the largest touring concerts and events that come through the area. It is a busy place.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There really is a huge variety of foods in the Wells Fargo Center. If you cannot find something here to eat you really have not looked very well. The main concourse has a large variety of almost every food type. And the upper concourse patrons are not forgotten as pretty much all food options can be found there as well.
Sodas are $6 and $7.50 throughout the facility. And most booths sell nachos ($6.50), popcorn ($5), pizza slices ($4.75), and baked chicken sandwiches ($7).
Hot dogs are available at $6, which seems a bit high. You would be better off trying other options around the arena.
Campos is a local cheesesteak restaurant in the Philadelphia area. They have a few stands in the Wells Fargo Center and offer a pretty good version of a local cheesesteak for $10. If you did not get one before the game, this is a good choice eating spot during the game.
Local sports bar Chickie's and Pete's also has a few locations inside the arena. The staple here is their Crab Fries, which cost $10.50. You must try them at least once. They also offer a pretty good Chicken Cutlet sandwich for $9.75.
PJ Whelihan's offers a full size bar environment with a variety of beer and food choices. Beer is not cheap, starting at $8, but at least the selection will make it worth it. Just watch out for the $11 premium can of beer, as that should never be your choice.
The Cure Insurance Club is sort of a built-in food court with a bar as well. It is large and offers a good spot for meeting up with friends. Once again watch for the expensive beer selection.
A popular dessert option is Gozen Yogurt, a self-topping yogurt bar.
The Wells Fargo Center is one of the largest arenas in the NBA. But the design makes it feel like a much smaller facility. And it is a loud facility. Although the 76ers rarely sell out, the arena will rumble with crowd noise similar to a sold out arena.
The large scoreboard provides another way to engage with the event. There are three video boards showing live action, statistics and replays. It would be close to impossible to not be engaged into the game with all the information that flows around. A ribbon board surrounds the stands and there are other smaller scoreboards scattered about.
The opening introductions can be quite impressive. The team plays up their long history showing clips of Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson. Also, the visiting team's lineup gets the obligatory "sucks" chants from the Philly crowd. Meanwhile the home team gets a rousing introduction with fire and smoke going off in the arena. It is quite impressive. And warm.
The cheerleader squad is called the Dream Team and they entertain the crowd numerous times during the game. Depending on the game they may also be accompanied by the Junior Dream team, which is a youth cheerleading program.
The Flight Squad is a group of acrobatic men who entertain during various parts of the game. Their big act is the trampoline based dunking routine, but they perform various functions throughout the game to engage the fan. If they do not get you pumped up there may be something wrong with you.
The PA announcer is one of the parts of the in game entertainment. He is lively when he needs to be and then can sound quite depressed when announcing points from the opposing team. It is done with a fun dramatic effect which is seldom seen from other announcers.
If you are a fan of the 76ers or Flyers, spend some time at the large souvenir store offering merchandise from both teams. Smaller souvenir booths are also found throughout the arena.
Fans of both main tenants will also enjoy some various history exhibits of glory gone past scattered around the main level concourse. The "Remember The Spectrum" wall exhibit displays the history of the old arena and the amazing history that occurred there in sports and entertainment.
The stadium complex is located some distance from the downtown parts of the city. You will want to venture away from the Wells Fargo Center a little for a good time.
There are still some local options though. Located closest is the Xfinity Live complex in the same parking lot. It is a quick walk from Xfinity Live back to the Well Fargo Center. Basically it is like a food court of bars. Food is good here and offers a decent variety, although not at the cheapest prices. The star attraction here is the 32 foot screen at the NBC Sports Arena. The Victory Beer Hall is also another fine venue, especially for local brews. There is also a year round bar called McFadden's located at Citizens Bank Park across the street, but it can get pretty quiet on 76ers nights.
Located just a short bit away is Chickie's and Pete's flagship location on Packard Avenue. This massive sports bar has numerous smaller bars inside, hundreds of screens, video games and some serious food. The Crab Fries also offered in the arena are obviously a star here. Also check out my favorite, the chicken cheesesteak. You can park here for some games and they offer a shuttle bus to the games ("The Taxi Crab"). Just make sure you follow parking rules as they will be quick to tow you if you don't.
Some of the best cheesesteaks are located at Tony Luke's on Oregon Avenue underneath I-95. Don't fall for the more touristy Pat and Geno's. Tony Luke's offers more options with much better flavor. They are located further away from the Wells Fargo Center so you will need a car. It makes for a great stop pre game. Not that a post game stop would be bad either.
The rest of Philadelphia is available to you on a short ride away on the Broad Street subway line. I would recommend taking the subway to the Race Vine station and walking down Race Street east until you get to Chinatown. Peek in a random restaurant and try their delectable offerings. David's Mai Lai Wah (1001 Race Street, #1) and Bar-Ly (101 N. 11th Street) are a couple great options. Bar-Ly is Chinatown's first craft-beer bar. What is better than craft beer and good Asian cuisine?
Philadelphia fans have a well deserved reputation.They did throw snowballs at Santa. But I have found the fans for the 76ers to be pretty well behaved when compared to the ones who attend Flyers, and Eagles games. During introductions each opposing player's name is followed by a loud "sucks" by the fans. That is about the extent of bad behavior and that is not too bad. Generally it is the most fan friendly of all the tenants of the area, probably only rivaled by the more laidback Phillies games. The closer you get to the floor, the more likely you are to hear louder and harsher language.
There are always concourse activities occurring before and during the games. Local school bands, Mummer bands, kids' sports teams and other community participants are located in that area at all times. This speaks to the overall engagement level at the arena. They do have some businesses hawking their products so do be wary of those. Practice by saying, "No I do not need an alarm system" over and over again.
The sports complex is located right off of I-95 with massive parking lots in the area. Even with big crowds there should be no problem with access. Parking prices vary by the event and by the lot. It will not be cheap, but it will be convenient as there are over 6,000 spaces available throughout eight lots at $16 a piece. A pretty good value is a $7 lot on the opposite side of Lincoln Financial Field that an outside vendor runs.
If using public transportation you will likely find yourself using the only corporate sponsored subway station that I know of, the AT&T station of the Broad Street Line.
You will not find one simple pricing structure for 76ers tickets. They use a variable pricing structure that means games against contending teams will cost more than a game against the Timberwolves. If you want to see LeBron, prepare to pay.
The cheapest seats are in sections 217A to 221 and 205A to 209 and are under $20 every game. Other seats in the upper deck range from $45 to $55. The cheapest seats on the lower level start at under $30 and go up to around $50 depending on the opponent. Center court and other close to the action seats will put you out in the mid $100 range.
It is best to look at internet ticket sites like Ticket Monster, as much cheaper seats can be found for even the biggest name opponent. Having such a large venue means there are almost always seats available somewhere.
The aforementioned team and Spectrum history exhibits is a great extra for the visiting fan.
Places inside the arena, such as the Cure Insurance Club offer a great meeting place for fans to gather before, during and after games to be with friends. They offer space and opportunity to keep that positive engagement feeling going.
Look for the banners that hang that honor Billy Joel's 48 Philadelphia sellouts and Bruce Springsteen's 53 Philadelphia sellouts. That is a pretty nice extra I have not seen in an arena before.
Wi-Fi is also available at most places within the arena. Not sure you should be spending too much time surfing the web when you could be enjoying a good game, but it is another extra value for the fan.
Wells Fargo Center is an impressive arena. It is large but has the intimacy of a much smaller venue. Even with a team that is experiencing down times, the 76ers fans attend in large numbers and are entertained by a staff that welcomes and engages all fans.
The Wells Fargo Center is the home of the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers. Built near the soon to be demolished Spectrum, it is part of the massive Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Eagles, and Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies.
The first of the three to be built, the Wells Fargo Center is all glitz and glamour, but it lacks the Spectrum's soul.
Wells Fargo Center is the home of the Philadelphia 76ers, Flyers, Soul, and Wings. Opening in 1996, it shares the Philadelphia Sports complex with the Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field and the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park. Built to physically replace the Spectrum, it now wants to rock like the Spectrum did.
While they may not have as much hardware as the Boston Celtics, as many celebrity fans as the New York Knicks, or a brand-new image like the Brooklyn Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers, often referred to as the Sixers, have been a staple of the National Basketball Association ever since joining the league. Originally the Syracuse Nationals, the team was part of the expansion movement that grew the newly- renamed National Basketball Association from 12 teams to 17 teams in 1946. The Nationals won the Eastern Conference three times and the NBA Championship once (1954-1955) before moving to Philadelphia in 1963 and becoming the 76ers, a nod to the Declaration of Independence, which was signed in Philadelphia in 1776. This brought basketball back to Philadelphia after a one-year absence upon the Philadelphia Warriors leaving for San Francisco in 1962.
Since moving to Philadelphia, the 76ers have won the Eastern Conference six additional times and won the NBA title twice (1966-1967 and 1982-1983). Their success and longevity have established them with the third-highest victory total and the third-most playoff appearances in NBA history. The three NBA championships that the franchise has earned place them tied for fifth-most behind the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls and Spurs. Many of the best players that have played in the NBA have played for the Nationals / 76ers including Hal Greer (1958-1973), Wilt Chamberlain (1965-1968), Julius Erving (1976-1987), Charles Barkley (1984-1992) and Allen Iverson (1996-2006, 2009-2010), among many others.
After spending just under thirty years at The Spectrum from 1967 to 1996, the Sixers moved to the newly-constructed CoreStates Center, which opened on August 12, 1996. Due to naming rights the venue changed its name to the First Union Center in 1998, the Wachovia Center in 2003 and finally the Wells Fargo Center in July 2010. The center seats 20,318, which makes it the fourth-largest in the NBA, and is also the full-time home venue for the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Philadelphia Wings (NLL), and Philadelphia Soul (AFL). It is also the main entertainment venue in the city and has hosted several non-sporting events, such as big-name concerts and the 2000 Republican National Convention. As part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, the center is just across the street from Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park. All in all the Wells Fargo Center is a sound place for the Sixers to play with a good atmosphere and great food though there is something lost by allowing so many other teams and events to be at the center as well.
When you go to City of Brotherly Love, you don't always get the love you want or expect. People in Philadelphia have a reputation for a reason. There's always exceptions to that rule. Philly people are very passionate sports fans and they like to voice their opinion. As for going to see the 76ers play, it's always an entertaining and fun filled atmosphere in the building. They provide great in house entertainment throughout the game which keeps people interested even if the game on the court isn't what you hoped for. Go there and see for yourself. Clap your hands everybody for the Philadelphia 76ers. Yours truly, Gary Herman
Philly fans have this rep as hardcore, die hard sports fans. Didn't see it at the Sixers game. They played the Brooklyn Nets, and there were plenty of fans in attendance cheering for the Nets, who were not shouted down or shouted over. There were also a ton of empty seats. I love the fact that they share space with Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park, so its really easy to get in and out and find parking. The concession prices are probably the highest that I've ever seen. Loved the Sixers original song, which was kind of a swinging motown sound. Overall an okay experience, but not over the top, and not what I expected.
I would take any of the Philly home games over a Sixers game
Had a great experience here. First, they have linked with StubHub to allow for e-tickets. In other words, no printout necessary and you can purchase on your phone while standing in front of the box office, thus avoiding the $8 order charge added to all box office orders at the WFC.
New mascots were added in 2014, featuring the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin, and Betsy Ross. A nice local touch.
Look for discount food items, there were $1 pretzels the night I attended. The Sixers are a bad team now and don't draw as well as they should but it is still a fun place to see basketball without being gouged.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been around for over 50 years. They also have some impressive history in their previous life as the Syracuse Nationals. Between the two identities, they have won the NBA championship three times (1955, 1967 and 1983). The most famous players of the franchise include Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J” Erving , Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson. During the run of the team, they have accumulated the third-highest number of wins in NBA history.
After playing their first few years after moving from Syracuse in the historic Palestra, the 76ers made their home for nearly 30 years at the Spectrum. The Spectrum was demolished in 2010 and 2011 and stood near to where the Xfinity Live entertainment complex now resides.
This building opened in 1996 as the CoreStates Center, and is home not just to the 76ers but to the Flyers, Wings (National Lacrosse League), Soul (Arena Football League), as well as selected Villanova Wildcats basketball games. It is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex with fellow venues Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park. It is a large arena, holding 20,318 seats, and is a venue for the largest touring concerts and events that come through the area. It is a busy place.
The pregame intros are great. The on court videos are awesome. For such a bad team, I had an enjoyable time here. Philadelphia is the one city that got it right in terms of having all pro sports venues on one piece of land. Xfinity live is a must see.
1526 Packer Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19145
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
3101 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
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