Blog Entry

So long, Spectrum

Posted on: March 13, 2009 4:02 pm

The Spectrum hosts its final major league sporting event Friday night when the 76ers host the Bulls and bid farewell to the old arena filled with memories at the corner of Broad and Pattison. I spent a couple of years working in Philly and never had the pleasure of covering a game at the Spectrum. I wish I had. I would've gladly traded the dozens of Eagles and Phillies games I had to endure in the awful Vet.

When the Spectrum is demolished later this year to make room for a new hotel and retail complex, a lot of memories will go with it. The building was blessed with Julius Erving's entire career and hosted all those epic battles between the Celtics and Sixers. Dr. J and other members of the Sixers' '82-'83 championship team will be honored before the game.

I gotta ask: Couldn't the last game at the Spectrum have been Sixers-Celtics? How dumb.

Here are transcripts and audio links from radio interviews with Larry Bird and Dr. J talking Spectrum memories. Good stuff.





Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2009 7:32 am

So long, Spectrum

I had to endure watching and listening to 15 years of Penguins futility in the Spectrum against the Flyers.  I hope they implode it twice.  Tongue out


Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2009 12:32 am

So long, Spectrum

 The Spectrum will always be about Bobby Clarke and the "Broad Street Bullies".

Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: March 14, 2009 12:09 am

So long, Spectrum

good catch, Jazz. 

Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 10:37 pm

So long, Spectrum

I was there for Neil Young + Wilco back in December and the place was a hazard.  Lighting was non-existent, many seats were broken, aisles were uneven and slippery and there were no railings at all.  Hard to believe it was this town's main indoor arena up until '96 even.  I went to hundreds of events since my family moved here in '78 from Pittsburgh.  The memories will never fade for me.  JJ Daigneault's shot from the point to force game 7 against Edmonton in '87.  Lemieux's comeback from hodgkins (I was at that game) which was so emotional.  Philly fans showed their absolutely true class that night.  How about perhaps the greatest college game of all time, Duke-UK when Laettner hit that enduring jumper?  I missed that one, but I did see the Iowa Hawkeyes make the final four by beating Georgetown in the '80 east regional in a classic game that Iowa won 81-80.  The sweet 16 matchups were Iowa-Syracuse and Georgetown-Maryland, and I think most of the nation's capital made the trip north that night because it was red on one side and navy on the other.  That was a great regional weekend I'll never forget.  I could go on and on and on with the sports memories...heck, the first time I asked out the woman who is now my wife was to a George Washington-Xavier A-10 final played at the Spectrum.  Funny that the A10 tourney is taking place in Atlantic City and on my TV as I type this.  Go Duquesne!

Other spectrum memories...saw the Grateful Dead bust out their first live performance of the song Unbroken Chain in '95, just a few months before Jerry died.  The Dead sold out 50 or 60+ consecutive concerts there and they have a banner reflecting that streak.  In fact, the surviving members of the band are playing two more shows on May 1-2 so the building isn't done just yet!


Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 6:31 pm

So long, Spectrum

 The building was blessed with Julius Erving's entire career

His entire NBA career.  Lest we forget he started with the New York Nets of the ABA.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2009 6:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 5:39 pm

So long, Spectrum

Don't forget the Flyers.  2 Stanley Cups won in that building.  Plus all the Big 5 games that would move in there when they needed a bigger venue.  AND, that 1992 Duke/Ky semi final game in the NCAAs.  One of the greatest games and finishes of all time. 

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 5:34 pm

So long, Spectrum

 I will miss it..I just took my son and daughter last week to see "ELMO LIVE" there .... But they tore down the vet and we all moved on from that so this will be the same.....

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