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The old Philadelphia Spectrum: A look back

I apologize for being quiet on this blog for a while. Work has been hectic and weekends have been full of amusement park fun. Follow these links to see our reports on our other blog from Knoebels and Kennywood. Additionally, I was also interviewed by NPR for our book "Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip". Needless to say, things have been pretty busy.

Anyways, I was looking through my old photos and found this old photo of the old Philadelphia Spectrum.
I miss this old arena. I am too young to remember seeing a Flyers or Sixers game at this old arena, but I did catch a few concerts and random events. I always enjoyed going into this arena. Sadly this venue was torn down a few years ago, but the legacy remains. Ten NHL and NBA championship series were held at the Spectrum, and it is also one of the few arenas that has held both a Stanley Cup Championship series and NBA Championship series. Overall, the building boasts four championships from the Flyers and the Sixers, including the Flyers consecutive championships in 1974 and 1975. The building last saw professional sports action in 1996. The Rocky statue from Rocky III once stood in front of the arena. The building was said to be the location of several major fights in the Rocky movies, with another classic venue, the L.A. forum, being the actual site of filming. Several NCAA tournament series were held at the arena, including the Final Four.

The name was actually meant as an acronym for Sports (or South Philly) E for entertainment C for circuses, T for theatricals R for recreation and UM for "um what a nice building." This place was built to be a world class showplace. It held hundreds of concerts by pretty much any popular band you can think of from the late 60s to the 2000s. Tom Petty played at the Spectrum 11 times, Rush played 17 times, Billy Joel played at least 25 times, Springsteen 30 times, and the all time leader, the Grateful Dead, played at the Spectrum 43 times! The Spectrum was a must-stop place on any major tour.
The building's replacement, the Corestates err........First Union.......errrrrrrr Wachovia.....errrr Wells Fargo Center is very nice. I wish they had continued to keep the Spectrum as a secondary showplace and sports venue as they did for 14 years, but I guess all good things have to come to an end sometime.

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