Friday, March 13, 2009
The Spectrum's "Final Floor"
The Spectrum in Philadelphia is coming down. It was completed in 1967 to house the NBA's 76ers and NHL's Flyers, which it did until 1996, when the larger and glitzier Wachovia Center (also known at various times as the CoreStates Center and First Union Center) opened a short distance away.
For another 13 years, the Spectrum has survived, hosting minor-league hockey, indoor soccer, and occasional college basketball games (including the Atlantic 10 tournament, as recently as 2002), among other things. But now, the Spectrum has reached the end of its run and will be demolished later this year as part of an entertainment development.
All this year, tribute is being paid to the Spectrum. As one example, the arena's history has been captured in a website called Remember the Spectrum (complete with online sales of Spectrum paraphernalia).
As a further nod to the Spectrum's basketball history, tonight the Sixers will come back to host the Chicago Bulls, for one last NBA game. Accordingly, I took some screen captures from YouTube videos of classic 76ers-Lakers moments of the early 1980s (see the top of this posting). As shown above, for much of its history, the Spectrum featured a center-court design that presented a simplified version of the visible color spectrum.
And via the Sports Uniform Watch blog, I found this article about how the 76ers commissioned a new basketball-court surface that will reproduce the old look, for tonight's game.