WELLS FARGO CENTER
STADIUM DUDE’S NHL ARENA RANK: #17
- Location: Philadelphia, PA
- Opened 1996
- Capacity 19,541
- Games attended: 2
- Last attended: 2023
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.
A Solid Middle-of-the-Pack Arena
The Flyers’ home, the Wells Fargo Center, is a classic modern multi-purpose arena with a lower bowl, club/suite level and upper bowl. Concourses are easy to navigate, and there seem to be a lot of video screens everywhere. The did an impressive $50-million renovation in the club seating area, and made it feel more modern, but that’s not something the average fan will see. The rest of the place delivers but doesn’t awe.
The location in the south Philly sports complex limits choice for pre or post game festivities, but allows for easy access either by car or by subway. They charge $25 to park, and other parking options are limited. So just accept your fate and enjoy the convenient easy access if you choose to drive. (Note: In the rare case when there’s an event at either the ballpark or the football stadium at the same time as a hockey game, take the subway.)
The kinetic 4K videoboard is among the best in hockey. Its supplemental screens move. It shoots fireballs after goals that are so intense, you can feel the heat from all but the furthest seats. The picture is stellar. And it’s huge. So much so, that if you have seats between the blue lines, you may find yourself watching the crisp images on the “big TV” rather than the live imagery on the ice.
A Strong Game Day Experience
Concessions are among the best in the league with local delicacies from First Line Steaks (cheesesteak), Federal Donuts (chicken and donuts), and Cuz’s (big pizza slices), 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. 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.
And then there’s Gritty. The Flyer’s team mascot is the perfect embodiment of the Philly 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.
Flyers Fans Could Do a Lot Worse
The 76ers announced they were leaving the sports complex for a downtown arena by 2031 or 2032. The Flyers didn’t say they were following. And from the fan’s perspective, there would be little need to.
The Wells Fargo Center is a solid arena fittingly right around the middle-of-the-pack. You’ll likely have a good time here. So long, of course, you’re not obnoxiously cheering for the opponent and putting yourself in the crosshairs of the Flyer fanatics.