Philadelphia said farewell today to our legendary sports arena, concert venue, and event center, The Spectrum.
The Spectrum closed its doors for good on October 31st of last year after a 2009 farewell tour that saw the 76ers, Flyers, and Villanova Basketball all return to the building to play one final game. The final show in the building was the last in a series of Pearl Jam concerts. Before Pearl Jam Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band played several shows as well.
Both the Flyers and 76ers won titles while the Spectrum served as their home arena.
Billy Joel had more sold out concerts in the building than any other performer. Bruce Springsteen was a close second.
The building also played host to the circus, monster truck shows, the Philadelphia Wings, Philadelphia Phantoms, Philadelphia Kixx, Disney on Ice, and many other events over the years.
Independent Philly watched from the media platform, as a large crowd gathered today in the parking lot, and listened as Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, Flyers chairman Ed Snyder, 76ers legend Doctor J., Flyers legends Bob Clarke & Bernie Parent, and others said farewell to the venue.
As a final farewell, Bruce Springsteen’s song “Wrecking Ball” which he had performed in his final shows in the building was played and then the wrecking ball began to swing, taking out chunks of brick and several windows.
It was not as dramatic a showing as the implosion of Veterans Stadium back in 2004, but for so many of us in Philadelphia with fond memories of the building, there was definitely a feeling of losing an old friend.
The building will take several months to come down before being eventually replaced by a complex that will house restaurants, bars, and shops.
Farewell old friend. Time goes on, but memories last a lifetime.