MUSIC - Rocky theme by Bill Conti
Spectrum - Opened in 1967 and demolished in 2011.
Location - 3601 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located in between since demolished JFK Stadium and the Vet which was across Pattison Ave. Known as The Spectrum 1967 - 1995, CoreStates Spectrum 1994 - 1998, First Union Spectrum 1998 - 2003 and Wachovia Spectrum 2003 - 2009.
The address is 3601 S. Broad Street Philadelphia, but most of the Spectrum faces Pattison Avenue. The Spectrum was built out of necessity, just like it's neighbor, the Vet. Philadelphia did not have a viable arena for the NHL and NBA. The 76ers had to play at the antiquated and dank Philadelphia arena on Market Street, and at Convention hall. The Flyers would not come into existence until 1967, the year the Spectrum opened. For the next 30 years, it was the home to both the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers.
On the evening of October 18, 1967, the Spectrum opened for business. The Philadelphia 76ers would host the Los Angeles Lakers in the first ever pro sporting event at the arena. Their new home would provide for an opening night victory as the 76ers defeated the Lakers 103 - 87. Just one night later on October 19th (also MY birthday), the brand new expansion Philadelphia Flyers were victorious in their inaugural game. They defeated the cross state rival Pittsburgh Penguins 1 - 0. Ironically, it was also the Penguins first ever game, as they too were an expansion team. Doug Favell got the win in goal, and Bill Sutherland scored the first ever goal for the Flyers at the Spectrum.
The Spectrum saw success from both the 76ers and the Flyers. Both won championships, with the Flyers winning the Stanley Cup in both 1974 and 1975. The 76ers, led by Dr. J, would go on to win the NBA championship in 1983. That would be the last championship the Spectrum would see. The Flyers would appear in 6 Stanley Cup finals, winning two, while the 76ers would host 4 NBA finals, winning 1. The 1976 and 1992 NHL all star games were played at the Spectrum, as well as the 1970 and 1976 NBA all star games.
Perhaps the most frequently used name for any team would have to be the "Broad Street bullies," also known as the Philadelphia Flyers. On the night of January 11, 1976, the Flyers played an exhibition game against the vaunted Soviet Central Red Army team. The Soviets came in with a swagger and left bloodied and battered with a 4-1 loss. It was the first time ever that an NHL team had defeated the Soviets. The Flyers literally beat the crap out of the Red Army.
After the demolition of old JFK stadium just to the south of the Spectrum, construction began on the Core states center, which was built on the site of the old stadium. Both the Flyers and 76ers left the Spectrum after the 1996 season. The final regular season Flyers game was held on April 11, 1996, when the Montreal Canadiens came a calling. The Flyers went out a 3 - 2 winner, as Ron Hextall got the win in net. The final regular season goal was scored by Vincent Damphousse of the Canadiens, and John LeClair got the final goal for the Flyers. However, the last Flyers game would be a playoff game on May 12, 1996. The Flyers would lose to the Florida Panthers in the NHL playoffs 2 - 1, and two nights later, they would be eliminated. The final goal would be scored in overtime by the Panthers Mike Hough. Eric Lindros would tally the last ever goal by a Flyer. The retired numbers of Flyer greats hung from the rafters. Goalie Bernie Parent's number 1, Defenseman Barry Ashbee and his number 4, Bill Barber's number 7 and Bobby Clarke's number 16, all hung from the roof of the Spectrum.
The 76ers ended their stay at the Spectrum on April 19, 1996, with a 112 - 92 loss to the Orlando Magic. Just like the Flyers, the 76ers had their greats numbers hanging from the rafters. Maurice Cheeks had his number 10, Wilt Chamberlain had his number 13 retired, Hal Greer and number 15, Bobby Jones number 24, Billy Cunningham's number 32 and the Doctor, Julius Erving had his number 6 on display. One other person to have a place in the rafters was not a player but the legendary public address announcer Dave Zinkoff. He was an institution in Philadelphia, starting at old Shibe park and making his way to the Spectrum. His introduction of Julius ERRRRRRRRRRRVVVVVVVVVVINNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG echoed thru the Spectrum. Zinkoff died in 1985, and exactly 3 months after his passing, his microphone was hoisted to the rafters of the Spectrum.
The last ever event at the old Spectrum was a concert by Pearl Jam on October 31, 2009. After that, the old arena went dark forever. The Spectrum has hosted the usual concerts, rodeos, wrestling and everything else. The Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL also played home games there. Finally, in 2011, the end came as the old arena was demolished. The Spectrum may be gone now but NOTHING will erase the memories of Dr. J, and the Broad Street bullies.
The Wachovia Spectrum. Onetime home to both the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers. 7/07
The "Rocky" statue in front of the Spectrum facing Pattison Ave. 9/91
The Flyers sculpture on the south side of the Spectrum. 9/91