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Game moved; Spectrum’s regular-season finale now Apr. 10

Over the past 42 years, the Wachovia Spectrum has hosted thousands of hockey games and has been the scene for some of the greatest moments in Philadelphia Flyers history, as well as that of the Phantoms and of the NHL in general.

On April 10, the Philadelphia Phantoms will host the Hershey Bears in the last regular season game ever at the Spectrum. The puck will drop for the final time at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online at phantomshockey.com, by phone via ComcastTIX at 1-800-298-4200 or at the Wachovia Complex box office.

The Phantoms have changed their April schedule to allow the final regular season game at the historic building to fall on a more convenient date for Philadelphia’s hockey fans. Previously, the last game had been scheduled for Sunday, April 12 against the Norfolk Admirals. In addition to that date being Easter Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers are scheduled to close their regular season that afternoon when they play the New York Rangers at 5:00 – which is the same time the Phantoms game was scheduled to begin.

The Phantoms-Norfolk contest has now been moved to Wednesday, March 4 at 7:05 at the Wachovia Center, paving the way for the showdown with Hershey on April 10 to finish off the regular season home schedule.

“We wanted to give the Spectrum the respect it deserves and bid it a proper hockey farewell,” said Phantoms vice president Mike Thornton. “We didn’t want our fans to have to change any family plans they may have for Easter in order to attend our game. Also, the change will allow Flyers fans and the entire Flyers organization to take part in the team’s goodbye to the Spectrum.”

The change also allows the Phantoms to finish their regular season home slate against Hershey, a team the Phantoms have faced more than any opponent in their 12½ seasons in the American Hockey League. The two clubs have faced off more than 150 times during the regular season alone. The Spectrum also holds a historical significance for the Hershey organization, with several former Hershey players making it to the NHL at the Spectrum back when the franchise served as the Flyers AHL affiliate for 11 seasons from 1985 to 1996.

Fans who have already bought their tickets for the April 12 game will be receiving an equal number of tickets for three games – the March 4 rescheduled date, the April 10 final game and a voucher good for a free ticket to any of the team’s Sunday home games in March or April.

Fans who bought their tickets from ComcastTIX or directly from the Phantoms will receive their new tickets in the mail by the end of February. The package will contain the new tickets for March 4, April 10 and the equal number of vouchers. The tickets for the April 10 game will be as close as possible to the original seats purchased, with priority based on date of original purchase.

Season ticket holders will receive new tickets in the mail for the March 4 game. These tickets will replace the April 12 tickets they already have.

Fans who bought their tickets directly from the Wachovia Complex box office must return to the complex to exchange their tickets. Those fans are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, as the exchange is based on availability. Fans with questions can feel free to call the Phantoms at 215-465-4522 for clarification.

The first hockey game ever played at the Spectrum was October 19, 1967 when the Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0. A little less than 29 years later, the Flyers closed out their time at the Spectrum on May 12, 1996 in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Later that year, the Phantoms played their first game at the Spectrum on October 6, 1996, a 3-1 win over the Rochester Americans.

Along the way, the Flyers made NHL history several times at the Spectrum. They became the first post-expansion franchise to win the Stanley Cup when they wrapped up a six-game win over the Boston Bruins with a 1-0 victory on May 19, 1974. On January 11, 1976, the Flyers defeated the Soviet Red Army team 4-1 at the Spectrum, handing the club its only loss on a North American tour of the NHL’s top teams. Later that year, the Spectrum hosted the 1976 NHL All-Star Game, and also hosted the 1992 contest.

Although the Flyers fell to the vaunted Edmonton Oilers in seven games in the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6 of that series produced what many call the loudest moment in the history of the Spectrum. Late in the third period. J.J. Daigneault scored from the left point to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead, producing a roar that had not been heard in the building before and the likes of which have not been heard since. The Flyers went on to win that night to force a Game 7 back in Edmonton.

When the Flyers moved across the parking lot, the Phantoms picked up where they left off and immediately began creating history of their own. The team led the league in attendance in each of its first six seasons, peaking at an AHL-record 12,002 fans per game in the 1998-99 season. The Phantoms won their first Calder Cup under the building’s roof on June 10, 1998 with a 6-1 win over the St. John Flames. The sellout crowd of 17,380 fans at that game still ranks as the third largest playoff crowd in league history. It’s one of 20 sellouts the Phantoms have hosted at the building.

More recently, the Philadelphia Flyers played two final games at the Spectrum this preseason – against the Carolina Hurricanes and then against the Phantoms the following week. The final college basketball game at the building took place just last week when Villanova hosted Pitt, and the Sixers will play one last game at the Spectrum on March 13 against Chicago.

Comcast-Spectacor and the Phantoms are now offering an amazing $10 adult ticket price for all remaining home games for the Phantoms final season at the Wachovia Spectrum, while all tickets for kids 14 and under are now $5. Tickets are available at the Wachovia Complex box office, online at Phantomshockey.com, or via ComcastTIX at 1-800-298-4200.

For more information on Phantoms tickets and packages, please call 215-465-4522 during normal business hours. More information is also available at the Phantoms website, Phantomshockey.com