Flyers and 76ers games will feel more like a rock concert starting next fall at the Wells Fargo Center.
On Monday Comcast Spectacor announced that it will install a $15 million high-resolution scoreboard with almost three times the screen footage of the current one, marking another phase of the $250 million Wells Fargo renovation. The “kinetic” scoreboard will have 4K screens for better resolution of replays and a flashing-lights crown that sweeps over the main part of the scoreboard, adding glitz to Flyers goals.
Despite its size, the scoreboard has been engineered to retract into an existing compartment in the roof so that it doesn’t impede sight lines for other events at the nation’s fourth-busiest arena.
TAIT, a Lititz, Pa., company that specializes in designing touring sets for acts such as U2, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson, recently began fabricating the scoreboard, CEO James “Winky” Fairorth said Friday. Fifty to 100 people will work on the unit over several months, he said, and the company will test the scoreboard on its Lititz campus.
Calling it an engineering marvel that won’t collapse the roof, Comcast Spectacor executives said the new board will be installed over the summer and will be running in time for the next Sixers and Flyers seasons. Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, says the existing scoreboard contains 2,331 square feet of viewing screen, while the new one will have 6,600.
Last year, Comcast Spectacor decided to renovate instead of building a new arena. The company, a division of Comcast Corp., recently announced that it plans to construct an eight-story office building near the South Philadelphia arena for $80 million.
Because the Wells Fargo Center is older, Comcast Spectacor had to be innovative to raise the arena to modern standards. Some estimated that tearing down and building a new arena would cost $750 million.
Valerie Camillo, president of business operations for the Flyers and Wells Fargo Center, said this “will be the most agile scoreboard ever installed in any arena anywhere in the world.” She said that the scoreboard is the first of several announcements of the specifics of the arena’s transformation.
As part of the scoreboard project, Comcast Spectacor also contracted with ANC, which provides video displays and digital signage for arenas and stadiums. ANC, part of Learfield IMG College, is controlled by the $4 billion Comcast-funded Atairos investment fund. Michael Angelakis, Comcast’s former chief financial officer, runs Atairos.
Wells Fargo Center had its busiest year in 2018, with 807,370 tickets sold. Globally, the arena ranked No. 7. In addition being to the home arena for the Sixers and Flyers, the Wells Fargo hosted 51 concerts, six WWE events, and a 22-show “Disney on Ice” run.