• Pete Dowell

Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia 76ers


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.43

Wells Fargo Center 3601 S Broad St Philadelphia, PA 19148

Philadelphia 76ers website

Wells Fargo Center website


Year Opened: 1996

Capacity: 20,318


 

Trust The Process

Wells Fargo Center was built in 1996 and is part of the Philadelphia Sports Complex Special Services District that consists of Wells Fargo Center home of the 76ers NBA & Flyers NHL, Lincoln Financial Field home of the Eagles NFL & Temple Owls NCAA, Citizens Bank Park home of the Phillies MLB and Xfinity Live! (A mega hang out spot for before, during and after any game). Wells Fargo Center is the current home of the Philadelphia 76ers and houses the legacy of three past won NBA championships, nine past won Eastern Conference titles, five past won Atlantic Division titles and the potential of future glory from trusting in a process.

Wells Fargo Center is not the first home of the 76ers. Although the 76ers played in a few different arenas 1964 -1967 the majority of their games were played in the Philadelphia Arena and the Civic Center-Convention Hall. Civic Center-Convention Hall is credited as being the first home of the 76ers in Philadelphia 1964 – 1967 and was the site of a NBA All-Star game in 1960. The 76ers next home was the Spectrum 1967 from 1996. The Spectrum concerning the NBA was distinguished with being the 1970 and 1976 NBA All-Star games host. The next home for the 76ers was their current arena in 1996. The arena held the name of Spectrum 2 in 1996 and changed its name due to naming rights four more times through the years. CoreStates Center from 1996 to 1998, First Union Center 1998 to 2003, Wachovia Center 2003 to 2010, and finally its current name Wells Fargo Center from 2010 to the present.

The 76ers started their NBA journey known as the Syracuse Nationals in 1946 and didn’t take on the name of Philadelphia 76ers until a ownership change, franchise move to Philadelphia and a contest to name the team in 1964. Walter Stalberg basketball fan and contestant in naming the 76ers won the name the team contest for his submission of Philadelphia 76ers. The name Philadelphia 76ers is a nod to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 in Philadelphia.

The 76ers have a history of cultivating some of the NBA’s most talented and/or exciting players and have many well-known NBA stars as 76er alumni. In no particular order – Darryl Dawkins, Andre Iguodala, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, Allen Iverson, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, and last but not least the new talent Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

The 76ers haven’t won a NBA Championship title in over thirty-five years. In recent history the 76ers organization refocused itself and pushed a strategy to obtain as many high draft picks as possible in order to find young NBA stars and have assets to trade for high quality established players. The strategy became known as “Trust The Process”. From 2013 – 2017 the 76er organization lost games purposely to get higher draft picks, traded for quality players, and promised future draft picks in order to build a winning team. In the 2016/2017 NBA season the 76ers had a team with two rising stars in Joel Embiid (aka The Process), Ben Simmons and a roster of talented role players that put the 76ers in a position to win it all. Trusting the Process just might work.

Food & Beverage 4

The food quality at Wells Fargo Center is standard NBA arena excellence. The venue is clean, the staff is friendly, hardworking and the arena accepts cash, credit and debit cards.

Wells Fargo Center offers all your favorite arena foods like hot dogs, burgers, chicken fingers, popcorn and all the other usual arena foods at reasonable arena pricing. Click here (https://www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com/plan-your-visit/eat-drink) for a current list and map of the food vendors. Wells Fargo Center has a member’s only high end chop-house styled menu restaurant called Cadillac Grille. Click here (https://www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com/plan-your-visit/cadillac-grille) for a current menu and membership requirements for Cadillac Grille.

If you want it there’s a good chance that Wells Fargo Center has it. From The Coca-Cola products fountain sodas to a bevy of adult beverages. Souvenir cups will run you $8.75 while a 24oz can of domestic Beer will run you $13.

I recommend trying a giant slice of pizza from Lorenzo and Sons Pizza $9+ and a cup of fries from Chickie’s & Pete’s $10+. You won’t be sorry, as both foods are delicious.

Atmosphere 4

Wells Fargo Center has a massive outside footprint with lots of parking surrounding the arena but the interior while very nice is a little underwhelming and not what you expect after viewing the exterior. Wells Fargo Center is more of a general arena than bucket list venue.

Wells Fargo Center provides comfortable padded seats with cup holders attached to the seat in front of you. The seat leg room and spacing is average for a NBA arena. The location of the lower Club Boxes really gives those who can afford them a premium view being located within all the action but still private. The lower Club Boxes are located at the top of the lower sections. Many NBA arenas have Club Boxes located just under the highest level giving the Club Box viewers privacy but giving the viewers the same view as the first few rows of the cheapest seats, this is not the case at Wells Fargo Center. The scoreboard is the world’s first Kinetic 4K scoreboard. In layman’s terms Kinetic 4K means is that the scoreboard is big, bright and detailed. The arena music was played loud (not overly loud) and frequently.

The 76ers organization keeps the fans engaged throughout the NBA experience. Some of the latest pop music is played by a DJ throughout your experience on the Wells Fargo Centers incredible sound system. Franklin the team mascot can be found throughout the arena taking pictures and playing around with the fans, the Sixers Dancers now integrated with male dancers keep the fans spirits high with dance routines during time outs and the Sixers Dunk Squad excite and amaze the fans with their acrobatic dunking. Most important to most fans the members of the fan interaction team (mascot, cheerleaders, and dunk squad) all participate in the T-Shirt / Ball toss that occur frequently at a 76ers game.

Some of the best seating is located in lower premium sections 112,113,114,102,101,124. The lower premium sections give you a wonderful center court view. Sitting in section 124 will put you directly behind the visiting team’s bench and section 102 will put you directly behind the 76ers bench. Sitting right behind your favorite NBA stars is fun and you might end up on TV but be warned that T-Shirt and Balls will very rarely be tossed over the player benches. Sections 112,113,114 face the floor logo and are the absolute best sections to sit in for a view of the game and entertainment as well as the T-Shirt / Ball tosses.

Neighborhood 5

Philadelphia is a historic city with a few bucket list places to visit. Wells Fargo Center is not located in reasonable walking distance to any entertainment other than its fellow members of the Philadelphia Sports Complex Special Services District. The Philadelphia Sports Complex Special Services District consists of Wells Fargo Center (76ers NBA & Flyers NHL), Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles NFL & Temple Owls NCAA), Citizens Bank Park (Phillies MLB) and Xfinity Live! (A mega hang out spot for before, during and after any game). I suggest staying in or close to the city center where food and fun are close at hand and using rideshares to get to and from the sports venues. If the teams scheduling aligns just right and you find yourself in Philadelphia a three day weekend of fun could look like this : Get into town on Friday afternoon and see a 76ers game at Wells Fargo Center, get up early on Saturday morning and get a Go Philadelphia Pass or a Big Bus Pass and tour some of the historic sites that Philadelphia has to offer until later that evening when you could go back to the Wells Fargo Center and take in a Flyers game, get up Sunday morning and tailgate before heading into Lincoln Financial Field for a Eagles game.

I recommend doing the total tourist thing and comparing sandwiches from the over rated cheesesteak rivals Geno’s Steaks & Pat’s King of Steaks. Geno’s and Pats are 2.5 miles away from the arena and are within eyesight of each other. There are much better cheesesteaks to be had but you know you want to see what the fuss is all about for yourself.

Philadelphia is a historic and modern city with many once in a lifetime must visit sites that are mostly not within walking distance or under 5 miles away from Wells Fargo Center. I recommend purchasing a Go Philadelphia Pass. The Go Philadelphia Pass gives you prepaid major discounts on most of Philadelphia’s tourist sites and gives you access to the hop on / hop off tour busses. I highly recommend getting at least a tour bus pass to enjoy the many attractions that Philadelphia has to offer.

There are many hotels and Airbnb’s from expensive high end to cheap sketchy mom and pop spots that can be found within five miles of Wells Fargo Center. Your choice of lodging is totally up to how much money you are willing to spend. There is only one hotel less than a mile from Wells Fargo Center. Courtyard Philadelphia South at The Navy Yard is the only major chain hotel less than a mile away from Wells Fargo Center.

Fans 5

Philadelphia 76er fans are not your average fans. 76er fans are proud of their city and their team. The 76ers have a past history of winning three NBA Championships (1955, 1967, and 1983) and being a onetime home to NBA legends Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson. The 76ers past and having two young rising NBA stars in Joel Embiid & Ben Simmons gives the 76er fan base something to be loud and proud about.

According to the Philadelphia 76ers 19/20 Media guide there was an average of 20,453 fans in attendance at home games during the 18/19 season. ESPN ranked the 76ers #1 in home fan attendance for the 18/19 NBA season.

76ers fans are involved and stay involved the entire game. The 76er fans are up and down the whole game getting snacks and drinks but will stop no matter where they are to heckle the opposing team or a referee. 76er fans chant “SUCKS” at the introduction of each opposing teams starting players name. When a referee makes a really questionable call the 76er fans chant “Ref you SUCK” as loud and passionately as they can.

Access 4

In general, driving will be needed to get to the arena. Once inside the arena the walkways are open and all fans including those fans who need a little help or extra room will be able to navigate without any problems.

Wells Fargo Center can be affordable and easy to come and go from. Please review Wells Fargo Centers Public Transportation Options (https://www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com/plan-your-visit/directions) to map out how you can get to and from a game using public transport.

The 76er organization recommends using Park with SpotHero (https://www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com/parking/) and parking at one of the 6,100 lots available on site for $29. Traffic is heavy but moves along due to the multiple exits.

There are multiple entrances and ticket handlers. Ticket handlers accept paper and digital tickets. Security is standard and quick. Please review the Wells Fargo Center Security Policy (https://www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com/plan-your-visit/security-policy)

Wells Fargo Center is a modern arena with a wide concourse and easy flowing foot traffic. Most concession lines were long but move very fast. Very clean bathrooms are located throughout the concourse. Fans needing assistance won’t have any problems making their way through Wells Fargo Center. There are friendly and helpful staff everywhere actively looking for that occasional fan that looks like they are in need of a helping hand.

Return on Investment 5

Going to a 76ers game vs an equally matched team like the Boston Celtics is well worth the cost. The 76ers organization really puts on a show and the team competes at a high level.

The 76ers ticket prices fluctuate depending on the game. Marquee matchups and holiday games will be much more than when one of the losing teams in the league come to play.

For more information concerning ticket cost I recommend reviewing a past article on Stadium Journey, How to Get the Best Seats for Your Budget.(https://stadiumjourney.com/news/how-to-get-the-best-seats-for-your-budget/)

Extras 4

One point for fan participation as Philadelphia fans have a reputation for being crazy about their teams and the fans truly are passionate about letting the other team know just how much they want them to be beaten by the 76ers. Super loud and fun fans.

One point for all the giveaways. Many teams skimp on the T-Shirt / Ball toss and fan games for prizes; this is not the case with the 76ers organization.

One point for extra clean bathrooms. The men’s rooms visited were very well maintained and clean.

One point for the Rage Room. The rage room is housed in the Wells Fargo Center and at this time is only used for fans at the NHL Flyers games but the possibility of the 76ers fans being able to pay $30 and smash things for fun in this first of its kind pro sports room is amazing.

Final Thoughts

Wells Fargo Center is a well maintained arena with plenty of overpriced arena snacks that are too good to pass up on and a team that is a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. What makes the time you will spend at Wells Fargo Center amazing is the fans. The 76ers fans love to band together show the 76ers love just as much as they love to give the opposing team a hard time. Trust the Process and enjoy your time at Wells Fargo Center.

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