I had thought that when Arte Moreno bought the Anaheim Angels (as they were then called) and at his introductory press conference announced a cut in beer prices, that was the best start ever by an owner.
Well, it is. But this is a close second.
Sixers owner Joshua Harris came in at his introductory press conference and started slashing ticket prices, reports CSNPhilly.com.
“I’m announcing today that going forward, we are slashing – and I mean slashing – ticket prices on individual game tickets on just under 9,000 seats at the Wells Fargo Center for each and every Sixers home game,” (new chief executive officer Adam) Aron said. “Indeed on thousands of seats each night, our ticket prices will be cut by 50 percent or more. This is not a sale or a promotion. These are our new ticket prices.”
To be clear, these cuts are for individual tickets, not season tickets. Aron said tickets in the lower bowl of the arena will go for as low as $29 – last season the cheapest lower bowl ticket was $54. That’s a 46 percent decrease. What’s more, a center court ticket in the eighth row of the mezzanine bowl will cost $20, down from $45 last season – a 56 percent cut.
That’s about as good a start as fans could hope for, outside of finding a taker for Elton Brand and his contract. (The owners could not talk about players or plans on the basketball side of the operation, due to the lockout and fear of the wrath of David Stern.
Here’s the video, in case you think we’re just toying with your emotions, Philly.
We told you over the weekend that the NBA’s other owners had approved the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers to New York billionaire Joshua Harris and investors.
Now the league has made official what everyone already knew, sending out an announcement of the sale Tuesday morning.
“We are delighted that the NBA’s Board of Governors has approved Josh Harris and David Blitzer’s purchase of the 76ers,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a released statement. “Comcast-Spectacor, led by Ed Snider, has been an exceptional owner for the Sixers, continuing the team’s rich history and tradition. Josh and David bring vast business experience that will greatly benefit the team as it continues to grow both on and off the court.”
“My partners and I are thrilled to have become owners of the Sixers,” Harris said in a statement released by the team Tuesday morning. “It is an honor to become part of this storied franchise. We have a lot of work to do, but we have a rich history, a strong foundation and a bright future.”
Congratulations Mr. Harris on the purchase of your team that cannot play basketball right now. That must feel special.
Sixers’ fans will welcome the new owners — former owner Snider (through his company Comcast-Spectacor) was seen as a hockey fan who happened to own a basketball team. It was good for the building he owned (the Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers will remain tenants) and the cable station, but it was not his passion.
Harris has Philly ties, he graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
We’ll see what kind of owner Harris will be. He takes over a team that took some steps forward last season under Doug Collins and has some young talent, but also has questions about direction and how to build. And what to do with Andre Iguodala.
Next Wednesday and Thursday, the NBA Board of Governors — all of the owners — are going to get together and most of the talk will be about labor deals and revenue sharing.
But there will be one other order of business — approving the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers to Joshua Harris and other investors, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. That means the owners will vote to do at least one thing during the meeting.
The details of the sale — the Sixers for $280 million, but not the Wells Fargo Center — was worked out months ago but the Board of Governors had not voted to approved the sale yet. They had a couple other things on their plate. They are expected to get around to it next week.
After that the ownership group will make its first public comments, although if the lockout is still in effect (as expected) it will be pretty dull as they won’t be able to talk players or much else on the basketball side of the equation.