But all along, even as he created Comcast Spectacor and worked on the landscape of the sport he loved so ardently, there was never a question. The Philadelphia Flyers were his baby. His true love and that sentiment was unwavering. The Flyers were 1st, 2nd and last in his heart and it showed. Walk through the Wells Fargo Center during any home game and you’ll always find the halls littered with ex Flyers from generations past. The motto has always been “once a Flyer, always family” and it remains true. The Flyers arrived in Philadelphia in 1967 and a parade for the new franchise attracted a rousing party of 75….six years later the Flyers would become the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup and a parade would wind through Philly with 2 million party goers in attendance. Though they repeated in 1975, the Flyers haven’t won a third title despite 7 trips to the NHL finals since. That never dissuaded Mr. Snider. He poured money like the Yankees into free agency, trusted his execs to execute the plan, all the while maintaining the family feel that separates the Flyers from so many other pro sports organizations.
Ed Snider built and funded 6 inner city arenas so that the children of Philadelphia can play and learn ice hockey free of charge. Skates, padding, sticks and equipment all underwritten by the foundation created by Mr. Snider to fund urban hockey. When I drive through Philly today I see children of every color walking to hockey practice and playing in city leagues. This all Mr. Snider’s doing and an incredible legacy unto itself. There are over 5,000 kids playing city hockey now under the Flyers umbrella at zero cost.