Wells Fargo Center turns fifteen

18 Comments

It’s been fifteen years since the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers moved across the parking lot from the historic Spectrum to the CoreStates Center. The building has undergone various name changes in its fifteen years of operation; going from the CoreStates Center, to First Union Center, to Wachovia Center, to the current Wells Fargo Center. In fact, the Wells Fargo Center stood next to the Spectrum up until November of 2010 when the older building was finally torn down.

The building has certainly seen its fair share of hockey events since opening its doors. The Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Final in the first year at their new home; and again at the end of the 2009-10 season. Philadelphia has made it to three other Conference Finals appearances in the last fifteen years—in fact, they’ve made the playoffs every year except for the injury-plagued 2006-07 season. Aside from NHL hockey, the Wells Fargo Center hosted three games in 1996 for the World Cup of Hockey and the Calder Cup Finals in 2005 as the Philadelphia Phantoms reigned supreme in the AHL. In 2014, the NCAA’s Frozen Four will make its way to the Wells Fargo Center as well.

On the anniversary, the Philadelphia Flyers official site released a ton unusual statistics concerning the Wells Fargo Center:

Here are some of the more unseen numbers during the first 15 years at the Wells Fargo Center.

6,645,300: Soft Pretzels Consumed

2,591,728: Hot Dogs Devoured

639,634: Philadelphia cheesesteaks eaten

679,537: Bags of popcorn purchased

461,511: Gallons of Pepsi consumed

240,000: Gallons of water to create the ice surface once-a-year prior to start of hockey season

60,000: Light bulbs replaced throughout the entire arena

48,500: Miles of concourse swept my housekeeping to keep the building beautiful

21,424: Largest single-event attendance (Backstreet Boys, September 29, 1999)

20,327: Largest One-Day Attendance for a Flyers Game (vs. Chicago Blackhawks, June 9, 2010)

4,000: Hours of operation on the ice by the Wells Fargo Center Zamboni driver

18: The most sellouts by one artist or act: Billy Joel

10,165,780: Sixers Attendance

11,182,589 (99.7 percent of capacity): Flyers Attendance in Regular Season Games

307-173-50-44 (708 Points): Flyers Record in Regular Season Home Games

1,547,524 (101.6 percent of capacity): Flyers Attendance in Playoff Games

46-32: Flyers Record in Playoff Home Games

1,755: Goals Scored by Flyers Players

There’s no doubt the Flyers have been the most successful major sports franchise since Wells Fargo Center opened fifteen years ago. In five of those fifteen years, they made it all the way to the Conference Finals (or beyond). Going further, they’ve won at least one series in seven playoff appearances and have made the playoffs 13 times. Only the disastrous 2006-07 season and the lockout of 2004-05 caused them to miss the playoffs. Not too bad.

Here’s an idea of the energy the building has already seen in its first few years in the NHL:

Predators tab Roman Josi as new captain, call him ‘our Roger Federer’

Getty
1 Comment

The Nashville Predators boasted some appealing options to take the torch from Mike Fisher as captain, but really there was only one obvious name: Roman Josi.

Josi officially became the team’s eighth captain on Tuesday. Ryan Ellis appears to be second-in-command as “associate” captain, while they seem interested in spreading the leadership wealth around otherwise:

As captain, Josi will see an increased role on the Predators leadership team, which will also see some new appointments. Defenseman Ryan Ellis has been named as the team’s associate captain, while Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm will all serve as alternate captains. In addition, Pekka Rinne, P.K. Subban and Nick Bonino have all taken positions within the leadership group.

If that’s not a sign that the team is taking this seriously – kind of amusingly so – consider that Ellis and Josi “interviewed” for the position and Peter Laviolette evoked military structures in discussing the decision, as sports teams love to do.

Josi seemed flattered when GM David Poile described him as “our Roger Federer,” a fellow Swiss sports star.

At face value, that’s great, especially since it breaks through the near-corporate-speak that saddles announcements like these.

That said, it’s funny to compare the leader in a team sport to a tennis player, among the most individualistic athletes in all of sport. There aren’t many moments of teamwork beyond doubles and rare events like the Davis Cup.

Overall, it’s another strong decision by the Predators. It’s merely fun to tease them a bit about the cornier aspects.

Awful injury news for Blues’ Bouwmeester, Sanford

Getty
2 Comments

Hockey’s training camps and exhibition games share a lot of similarities, big-picture wise, with other sports.

As much as they’re all about evaluating players trying to make rosters and rule tweaks heading into each season, the “winners” of a pre-season may just be the teams that make it out without any significant injuries. The St. Louis Blues aren’t one of those winners.

The team announced unsettling injury updates for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Zach Sanford on Tuesday.

Sanford is expected to miss five-to-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. That virtually wipes out an important season for a guy who was still trying to stake his claim to a full-time roster spot.

Bouwmeester’s situation is probably more troubling, potentially, as he’s already a key defenseman for the Blues (averaging more than 22 minutes last season, which was a slight decrease from recent work). The team announced that Bouwmeester suffered a fractured ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

As tormenting as day-to-day updates can be, “check back in three weeks” makes for even greater anxiety.

It does open up some opportunities for other players in the Blues organization, for whatever that’s worth.

This news comes shortly after the Ottawa Senators announced that Colin White will miss multiple weeks with a broken wrist.

You almost wonder if we’ll start to see fewer practice updates like these:

Senators’ prospect Colin White out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist

Getty
Leave a comment

Bad news for the Ottawa Senators today.

The club announced Tuesday that prospect center Colin White is out six to eight weeks with a broken left wrist.

The Senators selected White 21st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. After two years at Boston College, he signed his entry-level deal in April and appeared in two regular season games for Ottawa. He also appeared in a Stanley Cup playoff game, though he only saw 2:39 of ice time.

That’s certainly disappointing for White, who could’ve had a shot to make the big club out of training camp. One of the question marks for Ottawa had been the status of fellow center Derick Brassard, who had offseason shoulder surgery with a recovery timeline of four to five months.

“I come here and worry about myself, do the right things on and off the ice, take care of my body. If I’m playing well and taking care of my game, I’ll fight for a spot,” White told the Ottawa Citizen prior to training camp.

It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai

1 Comment

The Vancouver Canucks dealt with some adverse conditions as they hit the ice at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in preparation for this week’s 2017 NHL China Games exhibition series versus the L.A. Kings.

According to the pictures, it was a little on the foggy side for their practice.

Is that . . . Henrik Sedin in the distance?

The Canucks and Kings face off Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Arena, before traveling to Beijing for Saturday’s game at Wukesong Arena.

The good news? It appears the fog was lifted in time for the Kings’ practice.