By Peter Gleason
Comcast has decided to go all in on the Flyers.
According to a report on Philly.com, Comcast is purchasing the 24 percent stake in the team that was controlled by late Flyers owner Ed Snider—giving Comcast 100 percent control of the franchise:
The deal is expected to be finalized next month, at which time cable giant Comcast will own 100 percent of the company, including the Flyers, four Skate Zone arenas, the Wells Fargo Center, and Spectra businesses.
The sale of the Flyers is subject to approval of the National Hockey League, which is expected to consider the matter at its Board of Governors’ meeting Friday New York.
Dave Scott, the Comcast Spectacor president and CEO, will attend the meeting. Scott has had discussions with NHL executives, including commissioner Gary Bettman, and said he was confident things would go smoothly.
The upcoming season will be the Flyers’ 50th anniversary as an NHL team. It will be the first year of the franchise’s existence that Snider—or Snider’s estate—won’t have a percentage of ownership control in the club.
According to the Philly.com news story, the Snider family released a statement in preparation of the news breaking. This sale and turnover was what the former Flyers owner and patriarch wanted.
“While it is hard for us to imagine the Flyers without our father, Brian Roberts and Dave Scott recognize our passion for the team and consider our thinking. They continue to make us feel connected to the team,” they wrote. “. . . Their respect enables us to feel a part of what our dad created and shared with millions of fans throughout Philadelphia.”
Comcast first purchased some of the Flyers and the Sixers in 1996—with the mechanism for this type of transition to eventually take place.