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Wells Fargo Center: a breakdown of the oldest major league sports venue in Pennsylvania

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July 11, 2022
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This story originally appeared on Vivid Seats and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Wells Fargo Center: a breakdown of the oldest major league sports venue in Pennsylvania

Some wines and beautiful people get better with age, while others fade over the years. The same is true of sports venues. Some stadiums and arenas deteriorate and become forlorn after only a couple of decades, while others are still vital and beloved a century after they were built—helped along by occasional renovations. Cubs and Knicks fans are as fond of Wrigley Field and Madison Square Garden, respectively, as they are of their teams.

Vivid Seats determined the oldest major sports venue in every state with at least one top professional league team using data from stadium, arena, league, and news websites. Major sports were defined as all teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS, and NWSL—pro leagues with teams that play in a total of 145 venues. The average age of these venues is 22.4 years, and only 20 opened in 1990 or earlier.

NBA arenas appear most often on the national list, with nine of the 28 venues hosting men’s basketball teams. The MLB comes in second with eight; the NHL and WNBA venues have six each; the NFL has five; the NWSL has four; and MLS stadiums appear three times.

Venues were chosen based on the original opening date. Renovations were not factored in, except in cases where the original structure was demolished.

Wells Fargo Center by the numbers

- Year opened: 1996
- City: Philadelphia
- Capacity: 21,000 (basketball), 19,538 (hockey)
- Teams: Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)

This arena is the oldest of the three at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which also features stadiums where the Eagles and Phillies play. Billing itself as one of the busiest arenas in the world, it’s heavily used for concerts, political conventions, and WWE events, in addition to hosting all 76ers and Flyers home games. On April 17, 1998, the venue saw its largest sports crowd with 21,305 ticketholders packed into the seats as the 76ers faced the Chicago Bulls. But 76ers fans come in second for drawing the venue’s biggest crowd: In 1999, the Backstreet Boys—and their 21,424 screaming fans—clinched that title.

Keep reading to see which major league sports venues are the oldest in the country.

Oldest major league sports venues

#1. Fenway Park: opened in 1912 in Boston, Massachusetts
#2. Wrigley Field: opened in 1914 in Chicago, Illinois
#3. Providence Park: opened in 1926 in Portland, Oregon
#4. Lambeau Field: opened in 1957 in Green Bay, Wisconsin
#5. Dodger Stadium: opened in 1962 in Los Angeles, California

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