The Philadelphia Flyers are giving their fans a chance to let off some steam.
The NHL club opened the “Disassembly Room,” or “Rage Room,” at the Wells Fargo Center for Wednesday night’s home opener against the New Jersey Devils. Fans can swing hockey sticks and baseball bats and try to break dishes, TVs, bottles, drinking glasses and even a fishbowl with the opponent’s logo.
The room is part of a $265 million overhaul of the venue, which also hosts the Philidelphia 76ers NBA franchise.
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Fans of both teams have a lot of frustration to take out in the “Rage Room.” The 76ers have not won the NBA championship since 1983, while the Flyers have not hoisted the Stanley Cup since 1975.
“The concept is definitely one-of-a-kind and non-traditional,” Flyers executive Valerie Camillo said. “We ran the concept by some of our fans who told us they thought this would be a fresh way to have some harmless fun.”
Each five-minute rage session will cost fans $35 per person or $60 for two people. The organization will let up to 14 people indulge their anger per game. The room is accessible through a “bookcase” in an unassuming library wall.
Participants are required to change into a jumpsuit and wear a helmet and safety goggles.
New York resident Peter Caccioppoli, who described himself as a partial season ticket holder “for a very frustrating five years” took a few whacks with a hockey stick Wednesday, breaking a fishbowl emblazoned in the process.
“I broke the stick, which was a lot of fun,” Caccioppoli said. “The bat is easy to wield. I played baseball for a long time, so it was easy to throw a couple of plates and smash those. The sledgehammer was fun, too. It was a good time.”
No plans have been made to bring the gimmick to 76ers games or other events hosted in the 23-year-old venue.
Philidelphia sports fans have long had a reputation for boorish behavior going back decades and the city’s fan base is considered among the most aggressive in American sports.
In 1968, Eagles fans jeered a performer dressed as Santa Claus and hurled snowballs at him during a halftime show. In recent years, fans have been known to throw batteries at opposing athletes. One Eagles fan was ejected from a playoff game last year for punching a police officer and police horse. The Eagles once sent rowdy fans to a small jail inside since-demolished Veterans Stadium as a way to curb boorish behavior.
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During a Philadelphia Phillies game in April 2010, 21-year-old Matthew Clemmens stuck his fingers down his throat and deliberately projectile-vomited on a man and his 11-year-old daughter after Clemmens’ friend was ejected from the game following a dispute with the family. Clemmens was arrested and later pleaded guilty to charges of assault, harassment and disorderly conduct
During the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, Flyers fans threw plastic bracelets meant to honor the team’s late co-founder, Ed Snider, onto the ice during a 6-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.
During a 2001 regular season game, a Flyers fan jumped into the penalty box to fight Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi.
The Flyers beat the Devils 4-0 Wednesday and have won their first two games to start the season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.