SEPTA to Wells Fargo Center Events – The Best Ways To Travel There
If you plan to take SEPTA to Wells Fargo Center events, we'd recommend that you read this page carefully, first.
Taking SEPTA to the Wells Fargo Center - the former Wachovia Center, located near 11th Street and Pattison Avenue, in South Philadelphia - can be highly challenging. This is especially true, if you're not familiar with the Broad Street Subway in particular, or SEPTA in general. But on this page, we'll discuss the best, safest, and fastest ways to take public transportation, to the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia.
This page is still under construction. Please be patient, and check back for the more detailed version.
As this is being composed, if you want the best and most comprehensive information that we have, please read our highly detailed Guide to Taking SEPTA To Citizens Bank Park - since Citizens Bank Park is literally across the street from the Wells Fargo Center, the same advice would apply.
One Major Difference - Most Wells Fargo Center Events Take Place in Cold Weather, At Night - And You Have a Three Block Walk from Pattison / AT&T Station to the Wells Fargo Center
One major difference between traveling to the Sports Complex for Phillies baseball, or football at the Linc most days, is that most of the time, it's going to be really cold, while it's outside. When you disembark at Pattison Station, you have a reasonably long walk ahead of you - about three blocks over, between Broad and Pattison, and 11th and Pattison. So bring warm clothes for your short walk.
In the meantime, the following information is what you need, if you are taking SEPTA Regional Rail to Suburban Station, and from there, walking to the Broad Street Subway, also known officially as the Orange Line and the Broad Street Line. This is the basic version of how to take SEPTA to Wells Fargo Center events.
Here is the gist of what you have to do…
The First Thing to Remember – “AT&T Station” and Pattison Station Are the Same Station – That’s Where You Get Off, When You Take SEPTA to Wells Fargo Center
Why are the names different?
In the summer of 2010, SEPTA sold the naming rights to Pattison Station to AT&T, for $5 million. However, most of the signage remains "Pattison", and the vast majority of Philadelphians will continue to call it by that name. If you need to ask anyone, ask them how to get to Pattison, not AT&T Station.
You get off the Regional Rail train at Suburban Station. We’d recommend that you immediately purchase two SEPTA tokens for each member of your party, at the SEPTA Regional Rail ticket window. This is easier, safer, and more convenient, than buying the tokens at the subway. (You need two, one for the way down, the other for the way back.)
If you're unfamiliar with SEPTA tokens or how to use them, we'd recommend that you read our Guide to SEPTA Tokens, which will provide a great deal of information on how and where to buy SEPTA tokens, as well as using them.
When you ascend from the platform at Suburban Station, you will see the Faber news stand – a big sign reading “BOOKS FABER NEWS” on the left side, and a Dunkin’ Donuts on the right side. (There are two Dunkin’ Donuts that you’ll pass, as donuts are very popular with commuters; don’t get them confused! Likewise, there are two Church’s Chickens in the Concourse.)
Keep going forward, till you see an au bon pain croissant shop, directly in front of you. There will be a collection of pillars - white marble in the front, and purple in the back, some of which are illuminated - with a McDonald’s on your right.
Either of these paths, through the Suburban Station concourse, will take you to the same place.
1) Advance through the white marble pillars, and there will be a set of purple ones – one of which has a white sign reading “To AT&T Station and Sports Complex” with a directional arrow (in other words, if you want to go to Pattison/AT&T Station).
If you follow that sign, you will have a restaurant on your left – PC’s Restaurant, with neon red Coors and Budweiser signs, in its window, on the left. (Note that if PC's is closed, they turn the neon red lights off, so if you don't see them, just look for the outline of the signs in the window.)
2) You’ll see a directory sign – a tall kiosk, reading “Welcome To Two Penn Center” – with the same AT&T sign with a directional arrow taped to its right side. (Inexplicably, this sign is not attached on the front, conspicuous part – it’s attached on the right side of the directory kiosk).
Keep walking down, and there will be the second Dunkin’ Donuts on your left, and a Pizza Hut Express on your right. You’ll come to a Taco Bell on your left, and a Church’s Chicken on your right.
and a U.S. Post Office on the left, and a SEPTA Store on your right. (You can buy SEPTA tokens there, but we'd recommend that you do it, back at Suburban Station.)
At the U.S. Post Office /SEPTA Store intersection, there will be big, official signs overhead, reading: Broad Street Line ^ (straight directional arrow) Market-Frankford Line -> (right directional arrow)
In other words – to get to the Broad Street Subway / Orange Line, go straight. (If you wanted to go to the SEPTA Blue Line, also known as the el and the Market-Frankford Line, you’d turn right, as it would take you to 15th Street Station, at 15th and Market Streets.)
Keep going down the corridor. The grunginess level will increase distinctly, once you’re past the SEPTA Store intersection.
You’re now going through a big, wide, illuminated corridor, and you can see everything in front of you. You’ll come to a point, where you have two choices:
You can see open air and a staircase, directly in front of you. That is City Hall Courtyard, which takes you outside, which you don’t want to take.
Instead, take the option to your left, which is a flight of dilapidated stairs – go down the stairs and follow the signs for the Broad Street Subway. Your token, after it drops, will flash “Thank you”, and admit you through the turnstile.
Veer left, and follow the signs for “Broad Street Line – Southbound to Pattison”. You’re there. At that point, you can mill about with the other fans – whether they are for the Flyers, 76ers, Villanova basketball, or any of the other myriad events, for which visitors take SEPTA to Wells Fargo Center.
Once you're down there, take your token out, and drop it into the slot at the top of the turnstile - the computer screen will flash "Thank You", and permit you to enter the subway.
The Other Way Of Walking Through the Suburban Station Concourse
When you’re at the “intersection” with the au bon pain and the McDonald’s, don’t turn left at the AT8T Station sign. Just keep going straight, past the McDonald’s.
In the corner on the right side, you’ll see a giant map with a Suburban Station Concourse Directory on the wall, next to vivid photos. The map will have a helpful “You Are Here” icon, and you can use it to help you get your bearings in the system.
There will be doors next to the map, but don’t go out them. Turn left (since that’s the only thing you can do from that corner, other than exiting out the doors). There will be another giant map on the wall to your right, with vivid photos. You’ll have an option to exit at 16th and Market Streets, but you don’t want to do that.
You keep going down the corridor – as you reach the Pizza Hut on your left, you’ve arrived in the same place, as you would have, if you had turned at the AT&T sign. (Which is to say, if you follow the AT&T Station sign, the Pizza Hut is on your right; if you go this way, it will be on your left. But you’re in the same place, either way).
Keep going down the straightaway – eventually, you’ll come to the same intersection described above, with the Taco Bell and U.S. Post Office on the left, and the Church’s Chicken and SEPTA Store on the right. You just keep going, and follow the directions above.
Does it matter which way you take?
Not really, given that either way, you’ll end up at the same point, where there’s a Taco Bell and Post Office on the left, and Church’s Chicken and SEPTA Store on the right.
Coming back can be more intimidating. After you emerge from the subway platform, you walk back down the wide, illuminated corridor. When you get to the Pizza Hut Express - which will now be on your left, since you're going in the opposite direction -
Just shoot the gap – there will be a big overhanging sign saying “WELCOME TO TWO PENN CENTER”, in caps.
Walk under that sign, and keep going till you see the au bon pain (you’ll be able to see the sign, all the way at the end of the corridor, like a beacon or a lighthouse, as soon as you pass under that sign. Once you’re at the au bon pain, you just select the proper track and platform. And away you go.
SEPTA To Wells Fargo Center - Taking SEPTA Regional Rail To the Broad Street Subway - Two Major Options
There are two major ways of traveling via SEPTA to the Wells Fargo Center. The first is to take an inbound train to Suburban Station, and walk through the concourse to the City Hall Station of the Broad Street Subway. This option is available to you, regardless of upon which Regional Rail line you are traveling. It also is our recommended option.
The second is to disembark from your Regional Rail train at Fern Rock Transportation Center - located at 10th and Nedro Streets, in the far north of Philadelphia. Once there, you go up the steps to the subway at Fern Rock - the northernmost stop on the line - and ride all the way down, past City Hall, and eventually to Pattison Station (a/k/a AT&T Station). This is not the recommended option. But let's examine each, in turn.
If you take the first option, get off the train at Suburban Station, and follow the detailed directions above, to go down to the subway on the way to the Wells Fargo Center event, as well as back to the Regional Rail train platform, on the way back.
As for the second option - the most important aspect to determine, is whether that option is even available to you. You can only go via Fern Rock, if your Regional Rail line stops at Fern Rock Transportation Center, en route to Center City. So look at the schedule for your particular Regional Rail Line.
If Fern Rock doesn't appear between your own train station, where you board the train, and Suburban Station, you can't use this option. But if Fern Rock does appear between your station and Suburban Station, you have the option of doing so. And this is how you do it:
You'll get off the train significantly earlier, at Fern Rock Transportation Center. This option does have the advantage of drastically reducing the possibility of your being lost. The instant you get off the train platform, you'll see many conspicuous signs directing you to the Broad Street Subway / Orange Line. Just follow those signs, and you'll go up a big staircase, where you can board the Orange Line subway car. (It is ironic, that you actually have to go upstairs, rather than downstairs, to get on the subway. Fern Rock Transportation Center, however, is the only Broad Street Subway station which is above ground.)
If you are going, ensure that you get on an "Express" train. This is much safer and faster, since you will bypass most of the local stops, until you reach Center City. Once you're at City Hall, you'll need to switch to a "Local" train", to go all the way to Pattison / AT&T Station. (You don't need to leave the system at all; just switch trains, on the other side of the platform.)
We're not a big fan of the Fern Rock approach, though. One reason is that you're exposed, riding through the entire system, especially late at night. Another is the fact that odds are, your Regional Rail train is only leaving once an hour. If you happen to miss one, you've got a long, long wait at Fern Rock, waiting for the next train.
Instead, we'd recommend that you take the Suburban Station to City Hall approach. One major advantage is that you can occupy yourself at the many establishments nearby, such as Tir nA Nog, the Irish pub directly adjacent to Suburban Station. (That's how it's really spelled - it's Irish Gaelic for "Land of Eternal Youth".)
In addition, you can also get off at City Hall, go up to street level, and walk over to the Market East Station / Pennsylvania Convention Center complex. Once you're up on the surface at City Hall, just walk two blocks east, and enter the complex, via the elaborate facade at 12th and Market Streets - at the corner, there is a tall black clock as a landmark, reading "Reading Terminal" on its face.
You can wait in the Fieldhouse Pub, which is located in Reading Terminal itself; it's a great place to wait for your Regional Rail train to leave Market East Station.
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