Comcast Spectacor announced on Monday that the Wells Fargo Center, home to the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, will undergo an extensive, multi-year redesign as their next phase of renovations.
Wells Fargo Center opened in 1996, then known as the CoreStates Center, and has been the home of both professional sports teams and several other sporting and live entertainment events in the 20-plus years since.
As part of the Center's ongoing redesign, the next phase of updates and renovations is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018, in time for the Flyers and Sixers new seasons.
The first part of renovations include an entirely new mezzanine level, including "multi-functional, open-concept concourses featuring views of Philadelphia's skyline," over 150 new LED screens, menu boards and technology features for a "complete visual transformation," 8,000 brand new seats featuring cup holders, and expanded food and drink locations.
Once the changes to the mezzanine level are complete, "not a single aspect of the mezzanine level's original layout will remain."
There will also be two open air lounges in opposite corners of the arena's mezzanine level. The open air lounges will be designed to look like standing room areas where fans can still experience the action while being on the concourse in an area to socialize.
The main goal of the renovations is to create a more "social experience."
The renovations will also start to expand to the rest of the building. There are planes to install a new sound system, as well as more technology upgrades throughout the building, including complimentary WiFi connectivity, as well as full upgrade of mid-level suites.
“At Comcast Spectacor, we are completely focused on transforming events into great experiences for our guests,” Dave Scott, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, said. “We have kept a close eye on recent introductions and upgrades across the NHL and NBA landscape, and designed a strategy that embodies the ‘best of the best’ arena features and advancements as we continue to elevate the customer experience at the Wells Fargo Center.”
Once the mezzanine upgrades are complete, focus will shift to the main concourse level. At some point in renovations, all seats will be replaced and the walkways in the concourse will be widened. The main concourse is also going to feature the same open-concept views that the mezzanine will have. Main concourse upgrades are expected to take place in the summer of 2019.
The final stage of renovations will be to the event level, the ground level of the Wells Fargo Center that houses the ice and court.
The main upgrade is the addition of court-side and rink-level suites that will not obstruct views of any other fans in the bowl seating. There will also be renovations to the event level floor and team locker rooms.
The overall cost of these multi-year renovations will be in the range of $250 million. Scott said that the company looked into both options of renovation and a complete tear-down and rebuild project. The estimates on a rebuild project were estimated at $750 million.