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Volume 21 No. 34
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Wells Fargo renovation moves to mezzanine

In addition to replacing seats, the project will add new lounges at the Wells Fargo Center.
Photo: comcast spectacor

The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia this summer will undergo the latest phase of an ongoing major renovation by starting a $50 million makeover of the building’s mezzanine level.


The work is part of a roughly $250 million multiphase renovation project that eventually will touch every level of the arena when completed by the target date of 2021. The arena is home to the NBA’s 76ers and NHL’s Flyers.


The multiyear renovation began in 2016 with a $15 million makeover of the building’s 126 suites. Comcast Spectacor, which owns the facility, will now replace all 8,000 seats on the mezzanine level, representing about 40 percent of the seats in the 20,238-seat arena. The project will add two new lounges in the southwest and northeast corners of the mezzanine level with views into the lower bowl. A new sound system will be installed and glass exterior walls will provide views of the Philadelphia skyline. Expanded food and beverage locations and products will also be added.


The mezzanine project will begin in May and is expected to be completed by October.


Last summer, Comcast Spectacor built new landings atop the arena’s atrium escalators within the building, followed by this summer’s mezzanine work.


Over the next few years, the work will get even heavier. Comcast Spectacor is expected to redo the arena’s lower bowl and event level with the expected addition of courtside suites among the changes when the work is finally completed.


The building’s redesign is the product of Comcast Spectacor’s decision to renovate rather than build a new facility.


“The building turned 20 years old in 2016 and we started thinking about what was next,” said Dave Scott, CEO of Comcast Spectacor. “We got the design right in the 1990s. We felt we have so much to work with and make this state-of-the-art.”


SCI Architects is partnering with Comcast Spectacor on the privately financed project.


Comcast already has updated the arena’s Wi-Fi system and eventually will look to cut the arena’s current 126 suites down to about 100 suites.


“We will go back and re-evaluate the premium space,” Scott said. “We are learning that there is not as much demand for suites. The vision is to go down into the main concourse and create grand entrances and replace all the seating in the lower bowl. We will change out the scoreboards and then think about the event level.”


The Wells Fargo renovation is the latest in a spate of arena renovation projects.


The Minnesota Timberwolves last fall completed a $140 million multiyear renovation of Target Center while the Utah Jazz last summer finished a $125 million facelift of Vivint Smart Home Arena.