Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider today declared “this will be the final year of the Spectrum.” Comcast-Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm which owns the arena, will close the 42-year-old Spectrum at the conclusion of the upcoming 2008-09 hockey and soccer seasons.
“This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” said Snider. “The Spectrum is my baby. It’s one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me, but after a lot of thinking and discussions, we all feel it is in our best interest to close the Spectrum at the conclusion of the upcoming 2008-09 Philadelphia Phantoms and Kixx seasons.”
It is still yet to be determined when and how the Spectrum will come down, whether by implosion or by other means.
Comcast-Spectacor has created a website (rememberthespectrum.com) to pay tribute and showcase the history of the famed arena with artifacts, video, photographs and memorabilia. The website is also being created for fans to share memories, photographs, ticket stubs, and other Spectrum-related fun items with others.
The Spectrum opened on September 30, 1967 with the Quaker City Jazz Festival. After nearly 40 seasons of Philadelphia Flyers hockey and Philadelphia 76ers basketball, the Spectrum gave way to the Wachovia Center in 1996. The two teams moved to their new home and paved the way for an American Hockey League team, the Philadelphia Phantoms, and a new indoor soccer team, the Philadelphia Kixx, to call the Spectrum “home.”
“With this season being the final season of the Wachovia Spectrum, we will celebrate the history of the Spectrum with an exciting, year-long, celebration of events,” said Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko. “We are looking at the possibility of bringing a preseason Philadelphia Flyers game and a regular season 76ers game to the Spectrum this year, along with many other special surprises.
“It is our hope and intent to bring back many of the musical acts and entertainers who have made the Spectrum ‘America’s Showplace,’” added Luukko.
Comcast-Spectacor is in discussions to relocate the Phantoms to another facility in time for the 2009-10 season. The Phantoms will commemorate the final season of the Spectrum by wearing a special patch on their uniform and celebrating memorable moments from the historic venue throughout the season.