Comcast Spectacor is deeply saddened by the loss of company Chairman and Founder Ed Snider, who died today from complications related to his battle with cancer.
Mr. Snider was an icon – the father of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey club, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a risk-taker and a true visionary in the sports and entertainment industry. He was widely respected and admired for his passion, his vision, and his leadership, not only on the ice, but in the game of life as well.
Mr. Snider was a key catalyst in establishing Philadelphia as a premier sports city. He founded the Flyers in 1966 and took the Spectrum arena out of bankruptcy in 1972. In 1974, the Flyers became the first National Hockey League expansion team to win the Stanley Cup, repeating the achievement again in 1975. The Spectrum quickly became known as “America’s Showplace” and Mr. Snider saw the opportunity to create a new venue management industry based on that success. Through his company, Spectacor, and in partnership with Aramark Corporation and the Pritzger Family, he created Spectacor Management Group, which experienced significant growth and earned national acclaim for its impact in the industry. Under Mr. Snider’s guidance, Spectacor also developed and acquired nearly a dozen related lines of business including PRISM, the country’s then fastest growing regional paid sports cable network, and WIP, one of the nation’s first all-sports radio stations. In 1996, when Comcast Corporation acquired the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers, Mr. Snider formed a joint venture between Spectacor and Comcast and combined the 76ers, the Flyers and the arena to form Comcast Spectacor. Comcast Spectacor-owned companies have repeatedly been recognized for their success in their respective industries with over 300 clients and more than 400 global properties.
Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said, “This is a very sad day for Ed’s family, the Flyers, Comcast Spectacor and his many fans in Philadelphia. Our business partnership lasted more than 20 years, which seemed improbable at the time, and ultimately transcended into a cherished and special friendship. We are so sad but relish the many accomplishments Ed achieved during his amazing lifetime. He was completely unique, incredibly passionate and will be terribly missed.”
Comcast Spectacor President and CEO Dave Scott said, “Ed Snider was and will always be the heart and soul of our company. His entrepreneurial spirit was the foundation for many contributions to the sport of hockey and to the sports and entertainment industry in general. He will be forever remembered for his loyalty and his impact will endure forever in the hearts of countless Flyers players, coaches, team and company employees, both past and present. In addition, Ed was a generous philanthropist who cared for people in ways the public never saw. His enduring legacy through the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation will live on in generations of young people who will learn about his values of integrity and hard work. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Lin, his children -- Craig, Jay, Lindy, Tina, Sarena and Sam; and all of his grandchildren.”
Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren said, “Today, the Philadelphia Flyers, the city of Philadelphia and the National Hockey League have lost a true icon. Mr. Snider is the face of the Flyers franchise. He is revered and loved by all of his current and former players and has the utmost respect of the entire hockey world. Mr. Snider’s passion and drive to be the best has made the Flyers brand one of the most recognizable in all of sports. His desire to always have the best team possible for this city and for our fans is a true testament to his passion for the Flyers and his will to win. On this sad day, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Snider’s wife, Lin; his children -- Craig, Jay, Lindy, Tina, Sarena and Sam; as well as all of his grandchildren. Mr. Snider will be truly missed by all of us but his spirit along with the culture he created and instilled will live on with the Flyers organization forever.”
Funeral services will be private. There will be a public remembrance ceremony at the Wells Fargo Center in the near future to celebrate Mr. Snider’s incredible life.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and the Philadelphia Flyers Charities.