The day that the City of Allentown has been waiting so long for is finally here: The new PPL Center opens tonight with a concert by the Eagles, one of the biggest selling acts in music history. The Eagles are currently on their “History of the Eagles” Tour, playing all the hits that span their 43 year career. They last released a record in 2007, “The Long Road Out of Eden.”
“I can’t believe it’s finally here, but I’m glad that it is,” said an excited Mayor Pawlowski about the anchor to the downtown revitalization that has been rising at 7th and Hamilton for the last two years. “It seems like yesterday that we had the groundbreaking, and tonight we have the grand opening. I said it then, and I’ll say it again, it’s a great day for Allentown.”
On November 29, 2012, the Mayor, dignitaries, members of the Lehigh Valley Building and Construction Trades and hockey fans gathered on a cold blustery day for a groundbreaking ceremony using shovels that resembled hockey sticks. In reality, site preparation work had been going on for several months, and tonight the finished product will host its first ever event.
“I can’t thank everyone who worked on this project enough,” said the Mayor. “We are so proud of what the arena represents. We put hundreds of building tradesmen and women back to work, we built this with material from right here in Pennsylvania, we brought hundreds of permanent jobs to city residents, we have new restaurants, and we’ll soon have new apartments. It’s been a long road to get to where we are, and the best part is that this is just the beginning. There is more to come, including the development of the waterfront.”
The Eagles are the first of several concerts that will open the arena, before the permanent residents, the Philadelphia Phantoms Hockey Team, drop the puck on their season next month. On Monday, Cher will perform, followed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on Tuesday. Several other musical acts are booked, as well as events like the Professional Bullriders Association, the Harlem Globetrotters, and a Philadelphia 76rs pre-season game, to name just a few.
“The PPL Center is offering entertainment for everyone. We’ve waited a long time for this day. This is your arena Allentown, so please come out and enjoy it,” concluded the Mayor.