Edward M. Snider (born January 6, 1933, Washington, D.C.) is the Chairman of Comcast Spectacor, a Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, the Wachovia Center, the Wachovia Spectrum, the regional sports network Comcast SportsNet and Global Spectrum, an international facilities management company.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Snider, the son of a successful grocery-store chain owner, attended the University of Maryland and earned his bachelor's degree. He would become a partner in Edge Ltd., a record company. After selling the company, Snider joined Jerry Wolman (builder) and his brother-in-law Earl Foreman (attorney) to buy the Philadelphia Eagles in 1964. He bought a 7 percent stake in the team, and served as vice president and treasurer.
Upon learning that the NHL was planning to expand, Snider made plans for a new arena--the Spectrum--to house both a hockey team and the 76ers. On February 8, 1966, the NHL awarded Philadelphia a conditional franchise, one which would eventually be named the Philadelphia Flyers and start playing in 1967. Snider assumed control of the Spectrum in 1971 taking over as Chairman of the Board. In 1974 Snider created Spectacor as a holding company for the Flyers and the Spectrum. Flyers became the first NHL expansion team to win the Stanley Cup in 1974, and to repeated as champions in 1975.
Spectacor would found or acquire several businesses under his direction, most notably a regional premium cable channel, PRISM, and the first all-sports radio station, WIP (AM). Seeing that a new arena would keep the Flyers competitive with the rest of the league, Snider began planning for what would become the CoreStates Center (now the Wachovia Center) in 1988.
Prior to the Wachovia Center's opening in 1996, he sold a 66% stake in Spectacor to Philadelphia-based Comcast, creating Comcast Spectacor. However, Snider remained chairman of the venture, retaining a 34% interest. Soon after, Comcast Spectacor along with the Philadelphia Phillies created Comcast SportsNet in 1996. The company also bought the 76ers, who had been Snider's tenants since 1971. Comcast Spectacor also won an expansion franchise in the AHL, the Phantoms.
"In a 1999 Philadelphia Daily News poll, Snider was selected as the city’s greatest sports mover and shaker, beating out legends such as Connie Mack, Sonny Hill, Bert Bell, and Roger Penske."
Although Comcast-Spectacor’s success seems to embody Ed Snider’s vision and entrepreneurial skills, it was the creation of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation that stands as Snider’s true legacy. The Foundation was started by Snider in 2005 to provide a means to reach inner-city children in the Philadelphia area and provide them with the opportunity to learn to play hockey. Hockey, however, is only the “hook” – the program teaches the children necessary life skills, and provides them with educational assistance that furthers their classroom abilities.
Snider is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder.