Spectrum cashes in on remains of the glory days

    Fans forage for memorabilia of sports legends as demolition for Philadelphia arena nears. Everything from the seats to the signs to dirty socks was up for grabs.

    In just a matter of weeks, the Spectrum will be rendered to rubble. The 43-year-old sports arena in South Philadelphia will be demolished to make way for a retail complex.

    Until then, fans are foraging for memorabilia.

    On Tuesday, workers were busy unbolting the seats and lining them up in the concourse. They are available for purchase, as well as light fixtures, signage, wood paneling from the locker room, anything and everything that can be ripped out and sold.

    Dave Miller of Haddon Heights, N.J., was downright giddy as he explored the dirty socks and coat racks in the locker room of his heroes.

    “My first hockey game was in 1979 against the Rangers,” said Miller, who went to that game with his father. “I like the Vet too, but there’s something about this place – I come in here and it’s just a cool, haunting kind of… it’s like I’m 12 again.

    “I can smell it, I can see it, but I’m 42 now,” said Miller.

    The ceiling panels in the hallways are gone, with the wiring belching out. Nuts and bolts litter the bleachers where seats used to be.

    Brett Beverley of Pennsauken, N.J., got his hands on a seating section sign. “I’m going to put it in my man-cave when I get home,” he said. “Got it for 50 bucks.”

    Twenty-five percent of the funds from the Spectrum selloff will go to the Comcast-Spectacor charitable foundation, while the rest will help pay demolition costs. Spectrum officials do not expect the sale to cover the expected $2 million bill for tearing down the arena.

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