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South Philadelphia Sports Complex
South Philadelphia Sports Complex.jpg
The South Philadelphia Sports Complex as it existed in 2003–2004. Clockwise from top right: Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, Wells Fargo Center (formerly the site of John F. Kennedy Stadium), the Spectrum (razed in 2011), and Veterans Stadium (imploded in 2004). Interstate 95, which passes the complex, can be seen at the bottom right corner of the photo.
South Philadelphia Sports Complex is located in Philadelphia
South Philadelphia Sports Complex
South Philadelphia Sports Complex
AddressPhiladelphia
Pennsylvania, United States
Coordinates39°54′4″N 75°10′19″W / 39.90111°N 75.17194°W / 39.90111; -75.17194
FacilitiesWells Fargo Center
Lincoln Financial Field
Citizens Bank Park
Xfinity Live!

The South Philadelphia Sports Complex is the home of four of Philadelphia's five professional sports teams. The complex is located in South Philadelphia and is the site of the Wells Fargo Center, home arena for the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers, Lincoln Financial Field, home field for the Philadelphia Eagles, Citizens Bank Park, home field for the Philadelphia Phillies, and Xfinity Live!, a sports retail and entertainment center. The Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer, who play at Subaru Park in Chester, are the only Philadelphia professional team that does not play in the complex.

History

The South Philadelphia Sports Complex was also once home to three iconic and since demolished stadiums, John F. Kennedy Stadium (1926-1992), Veterans Stadium (1971-2004), and the Spectrum (1967-2011). Prior to its development, the region that now is the South Philadelphia Sports Complex was a shanty town known as "The Neck" of the undeveloped League Island area, formerly Passyunk Township. Oregon Avenue was the southern border end of the city up to the 1920s.

As early as April 1914, "a plot of ground on Broad Street near the Navy Yard was also considered" as a location on which to erect a stadium for the Army-Navy Game with a capacity greater than Franklin Field and Shibe Park, both of which had not yet been expanded in 1914.[1]

In 1926 the City selected the area south of Oregon Avenue for the 1926 Sesquicentennial International Exposition and developed the large river delta land south of Oregon Avenue. South Broad Street was a grand European-styled boulevard surrounded by massive exhibit buildings and structures that were to be a testament to American science, culture, and progress for the future. Following the close of the celebration of these 150 years of American Independence on the Avenue of the Colonies of South Broad Street came quick total demolition except of the stadium.

Prior to building Veterans Stadium across Packer Avenue north of JFK Stadium was family entertainment of a bowling alley, and a drive-in theater that was a venue created by Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden and that peaked in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s.

Current facilities

Citizens Bank Park (2004-present)
Citizens Bank Park (2004-present)
Lincoln Financial Field (2003-present)
Lincoln Financial Field (2003-present)
Wells Fargo Center (1996-present)
Wells Fargo Center (1996-present)
The Spectrum (1967–2011)
The Spectrum (1967–2011)
Veterans Stadium (1971–2004)
Veterans Stadium (1971–2004)
John F. Kennedy Stadium (1926–1992)
John F. Kennedy Stadium (1926–1992)

Planned facilities

Further information: Fusion Arena

Comcast Spectacor has announced plans to build an esports venue, the Fusion Arena, to support the Philadelphia Fusion in the Overwatch League. The 3,500-capacity arena will be built adjacent to the Xfinity Live! building. The arena is estimated to cost US$50 million and will be completed by early 2021. Outside of the Overwatch League games, the venue will be used for other smaller events.[2]

Former facilities

Transportation

NRG station on SEPTA's Broad Street Line is within walking distance of the three venues in the area. It was once known as Pattison Station until it was renamed AT&T Station under a naming rights agreement in 2010; the naming rights passed to NRG in 2018. NRG station is served by local trains along with special Sports Express trains making limited stops along the line before and after events at the Sports Complex.[3] SEPTA City Bus routes 4 and 17 provide service to the Sports Complex.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Army-Navy Game Will Be Played Here Or Not At All, Navy Is Quoted". Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 1, 1914. p. 14.
  2. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (March 25, 2019). "Philadelphia Overwatch team getting $50m arena". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  3. ^ "Broad Street Line Sports Express". SEPTA. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  4. ^ SEPTA Official Philadelphia Transit & Street Map (PDF) (Map). SEPTA. Retrieved November 25, 2018.

Coordinates: 39°54′12″N 75°10′08″W / 39.9033°N 75.1688°W / 39.9033; -75.1688