Ed Snider was an icon – an entrepreneur, a passionate philanthropist, a risk-taker for the greater good, and a true visionary in the sports and entertainment industry. Driven to succeed from an early age, Ed Snider would bring a new team and a new industry into existence, rooting them into the fabric of the city he quickly fell in love with; one that adopted him as its own.

His entrepreneurial drive started early. He first worked at his father’s grocery store and later, during his college years at the University of Maryland, created a business with his fraternity brothers to sell Christmas trees. After graduating from college as a certified public accountant, he quickly realized he wanted to run a business more than anything. He and a partner started a wholesale record distributor, Edge Ltd., in 1955. Three years later, he co-founded the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) which is now known as the Music Business Association.

Ed Snider’s emergence as a leader in the Philadelphia sports market started in 1964 as vice president with the Philadelphia Eagles. Two years later, he transformed sports in the city when he mortgaged his home to establish a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise as the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers were quick to succeed and became the first expansion team to capture the coveted Stanley Cup when they won it in 1974 and again in 1975. The Flyers went on to become the only National Hockey League team to defeat the powerful Soviet Union national team when it toured North America in 1976. Ed Snider became the driving force behind the Spectrum, Philadelphia’s iconic arena and home to the Flyers and National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers when, once again, he used his own financing to buy it out of bankruptcy in 1972.

In 1973, leveraging his knowledge of the sports and entertainment worlds, he created Spectacor as the management company to oversee the Flyers and the Spectrum. This move helped launch an entire industry – private management of sports and entertainment facilities. In 1976, Ed Snider’s vision turned to broadcasting. He created PRISM – the first 24-hour regional cable network in the nation to combine sports and movies.

Over the next 20 years, Spectacor experienced significant growth, earning national acclaim for its impact in the sports and entertainment industry. Under Ed Snider’s guidance, Spectacor developed and acquired nearly a dozen related lines of business including WIP-AM, which later became one of the first all sports radio stations. Spectacor was renamed Comcast Spectacor after Comcast Corporation acquired the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 and then merged with Spectacor. The company has repeatedly been recognized as one of the most successful companies in the industry and as an unparalleled innovator. Until his death, Ed Snider served as chairman of Comcast Spectacor. In the early 1990s, Ed Snider had yet another vision for the city he loved: to create a state-of the-art arena for the Flyers and the 76ers. He worked with city government and the business community to privately finance and build what is today called the Wells Fargo Center, which opened in 1996. It has since become a must play destination for the best people in the sports and entertainment industry to showcase their talent.

Today, Comcast Spectacor has three businesses: the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center and Spectra, the company’s hosting and entertainment division. The Flyers are second in National Hockey League history behind the Montreal Canadiens in all-time points percentage.

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