A walk to remember

This story was written for my Fundamentals of Journalism I class at Delaware County Community College.
The Wachovia Spectrum is set to close after the Pearl Jam concert Oct. 31. (Candice Monhollan)

The Wachovia Spectrum is set to close after the Pearl Jam concert Oct. 31. (Candice Monhollan)

Several thousand people walked into America’s Showplace to take in and enjoy the sights, sounds and smell for one last time Oct. 24 before the Spectrum officially closes on Oct. 31 after the fourth and final Pearl Jam concert.

The arena is slated to be torn down in April 2010 to make room for Philly Live!, a new destination for retail, dining and entertainment.

610 WIP sponsored and hosted the event live from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Fans said one of the many highlights of the day was the opportunity for them to tour places where their heroes once walked and to meet some of them. Among the Flyers alumni in attendance were Bernie Parent, Bob Kelly, Dave Schultz, Bill Barber, Orest Kindrachuk and Ed Hospodar.

Bernie Parent and Bob Kelly, both members of the 1973-74 and 1974-75 Stanley Cup-winning Flyers teams, recalled the days they spent at the Spectrum.

Lauren Pizzi leaves her mark on the coach's board. (Candice Monhollan)

Lauren Pizzi leaves her mark on the coach’s board. (Candice Monhollan)

“To get a chance to [win the Stanley Cup], that’s what you play for,” Kelly said. “At such a young age, the first time we had it, was just awesome. As a kid growing up, I watched everyone else carrying it around the ice, famous people today. Kids break in [the league]. They want to win the Cup. That’s what it’s all about. You want your name on there. It can never come off.”

Parent also shared some of his memories. “Well, of course, the Stanley Cup,” he said. “But so many good memories. The crowd. It had some bad times [like] when I gave the eulogy for Pelle Lindbergh. It goes from A to Z. But the best experiences, the best moments, was the support from the crowd.”

Fans were able to walk the halls of the Spectrum, stand on a concert stage, walk on the floor, tour the Phantoms and the original Flyers locker rooms and sit in the lower and upper press boxes.

(From left to right) Bernie Parent, Bob Kelly and Orest Kindrachuk meet some of the fans in attendance. (Candice Monhollan)

(From left to right) Bernie Parent, Bob Kelly and Orest Kindrachuk meet some of the fans in attendance. (Candice Monhollan)

As a way to say goodbye, people signed the coach’s board in the Flyers locker room. “This was a place that the fans and players cared about so much,” said Lauren Pizzi, one of the many fans who crammed into the locker room. “It gives the community a great way to come out and celebrate the history of the Spectrum and pay their last respects to it before it gets turned into Philly Live!.”

During the event, concessions stands rolled back prices to $1 dogs and $1 drinks. Spectrum souvenirs were also sold throughout the arena, as well as the chance to purchase seats from the Spectrum and pieces of the Sixers’ floor.

“It’s been great for the Sixers,” Kelly said. “A lot of great guys went through here on the Sixers, all their management people. The concerts that have been here, all the different events for people. The circus, I mean, you name it. It’s had a lot of activity, it was great. But [Philly Live!] is going to provide new jobs in a new place for people to come to.”

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: AHL, Arts & Entertainment, Community, Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports

Subscribe & Connect

Subscribe to Candice's RSS feed and connect to her social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: