WELLS FARGO CENTER
STADIUM DUDE’S NHL ARENA RANK: #17
- Location: Philadelphia, PA
- Opened 1996
- Capacity 19,543
- Games attended: 1
- Last attended: 2017
If you’ve read either my baseball or football reviews, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with Philly sports fans. On one hand, I love their passion and angst; on the other hand, I think they’re unstable human beings who probably should be kept away from society at large. Flyers fans, while not as nuts as Eagles fans, are still collectively one taco short of a combo platter.
Newish mascot Gritty is a perfect embodiment of the fan base: fanatical, aggressive and horrifying. Even though he’s the 2nd best mascot in the city, he may be the 2nd best mascot in sports. It seems as though big-bellied, fury oddballs thrive in Philadelphia sports venues.
The Wells Fargo Center is a classic modern multi-purpose arena with a lower bowl, club level and upper bowl. Concourses are easy to navigate, but otherwise the structure itself is middling. The location in the south Philly sports complex limits choice for pre or post game festivities, but allows for relatively easy access either by car or by subway.
Where the Flyers thrive is with the Game Day Experience. Concessions are among the best in the league with local delicacies from Campo’s (cheesesteak), Federal Donuts (chicken and donuts), and Rita’s (water ice), not to mention a Shake Shack (burgers) and Chickie & Pete’s (crab fries). The pre-game show spectacle is also fantastic with insanely realistic on-ice projections and lots of pyrotechnics creating an exciting blend of awe and anticipation. When the Flyers score, “Feel the Shake” by 80’s hairband JETBOY blasts over the sound system and the ice appears to “shake” along with the music. Lauren Hart’s rendition of national anthem is among the best in sports. And there’s even a Rage Room where one can use bats or sledgehammers to break things like plates or TV’s, allowing frustrated Flyers fans an outlet for their anger other than picking a fight.
So long as you’re not actively cheering for the opponent, thus putting yourself in the crosshairs of the Philadelphia Flyer fanatics, you’d be hard pressed to not have a good time here.