The Liacouras Center is a 10,200-seat multi-purpose venue which opened in 1997 and was originally named "The Apollo of Temple". The arena was renamed in 2000 for Temple University President, Peter J. Liacouras. It is part of a $107 million, four-building complex along North Broad Street on the Temple University campus in North Philadelphia. The Liacouras Center is the largest indoor, public assembly venue in Philadelphia north of City Hall.
"The Apollo", "The Pete"
|Former names||The Apollo of Temple (1997–2000)|
|Location||1776 North Broad Street|
Philadelphia, PA 19121
|Public transit||Cecil B. Moore: SEPTA bus: 3, 4, 16|
|Broke ground||January 25, 1996|
|Opened||November 11, 1997|
|Construction cost||$73 million|
($114 million in 2018 dollars)
Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates
|General contractor||LF Driscoll|
|Temple Owls (NCAA) (1997–present)|
Philadelphia KiXX (MISL) (2009–2010)
Philly Roller Derby (WFTDA) (2005–present)
During the 1980s, Temple basketball coach John Chaney sought to raise the profile of the men's basketball program through aggressively scheduling top-tier, out of conference opponents. Some programs, however, scoffed at the idea of playing at Temple's 3,900-seat on-campus arena, McGonigle Hall. Temple's President at the time, Peter J. Liacouras, supported the idea of a larger basketball facility in hopes of building Temple's national presence. Temple considered several locations and a site was purchased in 1988 for $7.3 million. The state of Pennsylvania awarded Temple $31.1 million in October 1992, despite disagreements between Chaney and then-City Council president John Street.
The project was approved in 1995, with a January 25, 1996 groundbreaking. Two nationally recognized architectural firms designed the building: Vitetta Group of Philadelphia, and Thompson Ventulett Stainback & Associates of Atlanta. The 340,000 sq ft (32,000 m2) venue opened in the 1997-98 season. The first game played was a 76-61 Temple win over #18 Fresno State.
The venue was originally named The Apollo of Temple. The name changed to the Liacouras Center just prior to Liacouras' retirement on February 13, 2000. The Liacouras Center is Philadelphia's largest indoor venue north of City Hall and hosts home games for all of Temple men's basketball, along with some women's games. As of the end of the 2016-17 season, the Owls have amassed a 206-69 record in the building. The Esther Boyer Theater at the Liacouras Center is a small theater setup of 1,000 to 5,000 seats for more intimate presentations. The complex also houses the Independence Blue Cross Recreation Center (IBC), which includes a gym, basketball court, racquetball courts, and more. The IBC opened in the spring semester of 1998. The fourth building in the complex is a 1,200-space parking garage.
Besides hosting Temple basketball games, the Liacouras Center is a full entertainment arena featuring concerts, family shows, Philadelphia KiXX games, Philly Roller Derby bouts, a full range of concerts, dramatic presentations, and family shows. Additionally, several high school graduations, as well as university graduations and convocation ceremonies, are held there. The Liacouras Center is managed by Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor.
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- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
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- "Sparse Temple crowds nothing to cheer about". Philly.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Arena Info | The Liacouras Center | The Liacouras Center". www.liacourascenter.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Independence Blue Cross Student Rec Center (IBC) | Campus Recreation". campusrecreation.temple.edu. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
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- Larrison, Brad (November 6, 2017). "Philly hosts women's roller derby championships". WHYY-FM. Retrieved January 4, 2018.