SIXERS CO-OWNER REITERATES VOW TO STAY IN PHILLY

Sixers and Devils co-owners Josh Harris and Blitzer.

By Annie Ross

The Angelo Cataldi-made-up rumor has been put to rest:

Philly is in no danger of losing the Sixers.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who saw the small crowds at the Prudential Center when the Nets called that building its temporary home before heading to Brooklyn.

Still: For the first time, someone has slammed the door shut on the NBA returning to Newark and the Rock in the future.

That somebody is David Blitzer, the Sixers and Devils co-owner.

“I’ll give you my impression, and you can call the league and they’ll talk to you,” said Blitzer. “I don’t think there’s any chance of another basketball team in Newark.”

Again, it’s no surprise, not with the Knicks and Nets owning territorial rites.

There was even a rumor, clearly false, that Harris and Blitzer would move the 76ers to Newark, one that caught fire when the Devils called a press conference last year for a “major announcement” that really was anything but.

Blitzer is a businessman and a realist, one who knows that even if an NBA team should pack up and move, Newark would not be the destination. What might be most interesting is, he didn’t seem the least bit broken up about it.

“Look, I have to tell you, it’s an interesting question,” he said. “We lost 44 games when the Nets went over to Brooklyn. On the one hand, it’s a fixed cost and you suddenly lost 44 dates and have to start filling them. I would tell you that the team at the arena is excited about it. I wouldn’t tell you that, when we came into the deal a year ago, they were excited about it.

“But we built up that team aggressively, and when you talk about our calendar, it’s not even a year in but the Pru is on track for a record breaking year. They cranked up the number of shows, and I think we booked for the coming year 20 percent more than the last year. I think the reality is, over time we’re going to be really happy to have those dates back.”

 

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