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South Philadelphia Sports Complex
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 major Philadelphia 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.

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)
Lincoln Financial Field (2003–present)
Wells Fargo Center (1996–present)

Former facilities

The Spectrum (1967–2011)
Veterans Stadium (1971–2004)
John F. Kennedy Stadium (1926–1992)

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.[2] SEPTA City Bus routes 4 and 17 provide service to the Sports Complex.[3]

Sports Complex Special Services District

Sports Complex Special Services District
Formation2002
Type501(c)(3)
Headquarters3300 South 7th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Region served
South Philadelphia Sports Complex
Websitehttp://www.scssd.org/

The Sports Complex Special Services District (SCSSD)is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Philadelphia that was established in the year 2002 to minimize the impact of concentrating major sporting and entertainment facilities in a geographic area adjacent to established Philadelphia residential neighborhoods of South Philadelphia.

The mission is to protect community interests, improve neighborhood quality of life, and promote efficient operation within the neighborhood(s) of adjacent sports venues of the Citizen's Ball Park, Lincoln Financial Field, multi-event Wachovia Center and the former Spectrum Arena(demolished 2010). The mission is fulfilled by providing support and special services to the residential neighborhood(s) in close proximity to the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.[4]

Primary areas of supportive improvements include attention to traffic calming, directional signage, and orderly traffic patterns and flows, removal of an abundance of excess curbside street and sidewalk trash and debris with dedicated cleaning teams (other than normal City provided services), street tree care for over a thousand trees, landscape beautification of several public medial areas and walkways, recreational facility upgrades, upgrades to street lighting and traffic light enhancements, public safety initiatives, conducts special community events, attends public and civil meetings, circulates a calendar and newsletters, and provides announcements of high traffic events scheduled at the Complex so neighbors can plan family events and travel with knowledge of conditions in advance.

The boundary of the Special District is bounded by Oregon Avenue to the north, 7th Street to the east, I-95 to the south, and 20th Street to the west. It includes the Philadelphia neighborhoods of Packer Park and Marconi Plaza that are represented on the board by four neighborhood districts.

The Special District does not include the "Xfinity Live!" dining entertainment built on the former site of the Spectrum Arena. The impact of traffic and patrons have raised concerns by the adjacent neighborhood community and the parkland of FDR Park seeking to have a mechanism to deal with it in an organized structure, similar to the SCSSD.

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. ^ "Broad Street Line Sports Express". SEPTA. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  3. ^ SEPTA Official Philadelphia Transit & Street Map (PDF) (Map). SEPTA. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  4. ^ "ABOUT SCSSD". www.scssd.org. Sports Complex Special Services District. 2009.

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