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Spectrum Demolished In Philadelphia

Spectrum Demolished In Philadelphia - With a few swings of an aptly-hued orange wrecking ball, a hole was punched into Philadelphia hockey history on Tuesday as the demolition of the Spectrum began following a ceremony in the parking lot near the original home of the Philadelphia Flyers.

With Philadelphia sports legends like Hockey Hall of Famers Bob Clarke and Bernie Parent, as well as NBA legend and former Philadelphia 76er Julius Erving, looking on, the first step in the tear-down of the building began on a chilly, overcast day. The cold weather, however, didn't stop about 1,000 fans from descending on the South Philadelphia sports complex starting at 8 a.m., about 4 1/2 hours before the first hole was punched into the 44-year-old building.

The full demolition is expected to take about four months, and in its place will be Philly Live! -- a complex that, when finished, will consist of bars, restaurants and hotels.

"Many of us have had so many exciting times at the Spectrum," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said. "This demolition is not really the end of an era, it's the start of a new one for our great city."

The Spectrum hosted a number of major events, topped by the final game of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Flyers become the first expansion team to win the Cup. Cup Finals in 1975, 1976, 1980, 1985 and 1987 also were played there, as was the famed 1976 game that saw the Flyers beat the Soviet Red Army team. Two NHL All-Star Games were played there, in 1976 and 1992.

The AHL Philadelphia Phantoms also won their first Calder Cup title at the Spectrum, in 1998.

That made it a bittersweet day for many. Fans got as close to the fenced-off demolition site as possible for one final farewell to the building, taking their final pictures and video.

It also was a hard day for Ed Snider. The founder and current chairman of the Flyers helped finance the construction of the Spectrum in 1966, and saw the building almost like one of his children.

Spectrum Demolished In Philadelphia


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