Quality of Life

Sports & Athletics

Sporting events represent a major part of Greater Philadelphia's culture and the diehard fan bases of all of the region's athletic teams certainly prove it. Just tune into the local radio sports stations and you'll here how passionate and enthusiastic this region is about its teams! In addition to being a collegiate sports hotbed, seven major league professional teams also make their home in Greater Philadelphia: the Eagles (NFL), Phillies (MLB), Sixers (NBA), Flyers (NHL), Wings (NLL), KiXX (MISL) and Soul (AFL). Whether you're an athlete or an athletic devotee, Greater Philadelphia is sure to please.

THE VENUES

When it comes to sporting venues, Philadelphia is a regional powerhouse. With two new outdoor stadiums and two spectacular indoor arenas, South Philly is the athletic pulse of the region. The $512 million, state-of-the-art Lincoln Financial Field seats 67,594 and was completed just in time for the Philadelphia Eagles' 2003 season kickoff. It is also the home for Temple University college football. Right across the street is the Philadelphia Phillies' $346 million Citizens Bank Park. This remarkable ballpark was completed in April 2004 and seats 43,000. The Wachovia Center Complex, which is comprised of the Wachovia Center and the Wachovia Spectrum, hosts the Sixers, Flyers, Wings, KiXX and Soul. The $206 million Wachovia Center opened in 1996 and can seat 21,600. The Wachovia Spectrum, the oldest of the four major venues, can seat up to 17,000 spectators.

This athletic epicenter in South Philly is conveniently located just off Interstate 95, making it an easy driving destination. There is a charge for parking, so come early to get a good spot and enjoy pregame festivities. Public transportation, most notably the SEPTA Broad Street Subway Line, also makes the venues readily accessible from areas in and around Center City Philadelphia.

Lacrosse, Soccer & Arena Football

In addition to the more common professional sports, Greater Philadelphia also suits up major league teams in lacrosse, soccer and indoor arena football. Since 1987, Wings Lacrosse has won six championships. Captain Jake Bergey, all-star Athan Iannucci and their teammates consistently thrill the crowd. Visit www.wingslax.com for more information.

If soccer is a better match for your tastes, then make your way to a Philadelphia KiXX game! Starting as an expansion franchise in 1996, the KiXX have earned the title of league champion in the 2001-02 and 2006-07 season. Don D'Ambra, who provides scoring and leadership, is both player and coach. With the defensive finesse of all-star goalkeeper Peter Pappas, the KiXX are bound to continue along the road of success. Visit www.kixxonline.com for more information.

Looking for football in the offseason? Music icons Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora teamed up with Craig Spencer and Ron Jaworski (a former star quarterback for the Eagles) to bring arena football to Philly in 2004. The Philadelphia Soul now play their action-packed football games in the Wachovia Center. Quarterback Tony Graziani is the team leader. Visit www.philadelphiasoul.com for more information.

Collegiate, Annual Events & Minor Leagues

Greater Philadelphia is a big-time college athletic region. Most notably, St. Joe's, LaSalle, Temple, Pennsylvania and Villanova make up what is known as the Big Five, college basketball's biggest and most historic intracity rivalry. In 2006, long time Penn coach Fran Dunphy left the Quakers to replace Hall of Fame coach John Chaney at Temple. Dunphy led the Owls to the 2007 NCAA Tournament after winning the Atlantic 10 tournament championship game against rival St. Joe's. Despite the defeat, St. Joe's returned to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Jay Wright has built Villanova back into a title contender, as the Wildcats have earned four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and made it to the Sweet 16 in 2007. Drexel University also provides major basketball in Philadelphia and is led by head coach Bruiser Flint, a Philadelphia native.

The region also has numerous annual sporting events. There are the Penn Relays, the nation's oldest and largest amateur track and field relay held each spring at Penn's Franklin Field, as well as the Blue Cross Broad Street Run (10 miles) held each May in downtown Philadelphia. For equestrian aficionados, the historic Devon Horse Show in May in Chester County is sure to please. The Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, takes place along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

In addition, Greater Philadelphia is the home of the Camden Riversharks, a minor-league baseball team that plays at Campbell's Field in Camden, New Jersey, and the Trenton Thunder, who play their games at Mercer County Waterfront Park. The Wilmington Blue Rocks play minor league baseball games at Frawley Stadium in New Castle County, Delaware. And there's always the Philadelphia Phantoms, an American Hockey League team that feeds players to the Flyers. The Phantoms won the 2004-2005 AHL championship.

 
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