The 2001/2002 season is the 6th season of the Philadelphia Flyers at the new Wachovia Center, just a couple of meters from the Philadelphia Spectrum, their former home (and now home of the AHL´s Philadelphia Phantoms). At first the arena was known as the Core States Center but after Core States Bank merged with First Union it became the First Union Center, only to be called Wachovia Center in 2003. Just as in most other NHL-cities a new arena with new revenue-opportunities was needed and built, with a capacity of only 17.380 seats the old Spectrum also proved to be a bit too small for hockey-crazy Philadelhpia.
As far as I am concerned the Wachovia Center is one of the nicest NHL-arenas around. Many fans claim that the atmosphere is a lot less intense than at the narrow Spectrum, but from a comfort-point of view the spacious Wachovia Center is all a visitor can ask for. I have seen two games in Philadelphia so far and they were two games with two of the best crowds I have ever seen and heard, if Philly-fans complain about the atmosphere in their new barn I have no idea what fans in other NHL-cities should think about their places.
Tickets in the lower level go for 65 dollars, the upper level starts at 42.50 and ends at 28 dollars. With 6 dollars the game-program is not only one of the more expensive in the NHL, with 75% advertisement and rather dumb articles it´s also one of the worst. Save your money here.
Tips for visitors:
The Wachovia Center is just outside Philadelphia and part of the Sports Complex where you will find the Spectrum I mentioned above and the baseball-stadium. It´s pretty easy to get to the arena if you use the subway system.
The typical tourist will probably take a tour around the downtown-area. Right underneath the historic city hall you can enter the underground-system. Just take the orange line to the south and get out at the "Sports Complex"-station. The trip shouldn´t be more than a dollar and is considerable cheaper than a taxi (took one once from the trainstation and paid 20 dollars).
If you are in New York on a vacation Philadelphia might be a pretty good idea for a day or two. Just go to the Amtrak Station underneath Madison Square Garden (Penn Station), trains are basically running every 60 minutes on Amtrak´s main-track from New York to Washington. A train-ride should cost around 70 dollars round-trip, so if you´re not travelling on your own it might be cheaper to rent a car somehwere outside Manhatten (wouldn´t really drive there) and drive south to Philadelphia. The train-ride takes about 90 minutes, when you have a hotel in New York you can easily return after a game in Philadelphia either with the 11 pm or 0.30 am-train from Philly to New York.
The ticket-situation in Philadelphia is not really perfect for spontaneous visits. Philadelphia is a hockey-crazy town and the Flyers and Phantoms both play in front of huge crowds on a regular basis. I would stronly recommend you to get tickets way in advance, but when I tried to get tickets for a matchup with the Colorado Avalanche the game was officially sold out three months in advance (I went to the Islanders instead that night in order to torture myself and a couple more visitors at the arena with a tough struggle against Tampa Bay). I wouldn´t hope on getting more than single-seats under any circumstances (even if you order weeks in advance), there is also no chance of moving around with most seats occupied game in and game out.
Due to the great atmosphere, the great arena and the fact that Philadelphia usually
puts a good game on the ice I can strongly recommend a trip to Philadelphia for every
hockey-fan. When Detroit claims to be "Hockeytown" Philadelphia is my personal
Seating chart of the arena:
Seating chart provided by www.eishockey.com.
The Sports Complex in southern
Links to the team:
Homepage of the Flyers: www.philadelphiaflyers.com