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I wrote this post back in March, after Adam Aron went on a strange media tour in which he explained why the Sixers were so bad. I detailed the many reasons why I thought he was doing a terrible job as CEO, and as it turns out, I’m a goddamned soothsayer. So, given the news that he’s been fired, I figured, “Hey, why expend any energy when I can just use an old post, change the title and call it a day?” That’s what I’m doing. These are the reasons why I think Aron will now be looking for a distressed cruise line (perhaps this one?) to steer back to a prosperous port.

 

I’ve had enough.

Adam Aron keeps saying that he views fans as unpaid management consultants, thousands of passionate followers that give solicited and unsolicited opinions on each decision made by the newish Sixers ownership group. So, knowing that, consider this post free advice to Aron. Consultant’s fee waived.

Aron went on a mini media tour yesterday, first speaking with John Gonzalez at CSN Philly and then to an in-studio visit with Mike Missanelli at 97.5 The Fanatic, where he took calls from exactly the type of enraged hardos that would wait on hold for an hour to yell at an owner.

For Aron, it took balls. I’ll say that much.

I think it was somewhat overkill– the Sixers are in the midst of a losing season, but they didn’t sacrifice a small child in front of their 12,000 fans. A Rock Center-style sit-down with a charged up Gonzo and an hour and 20-minute-plus in-studio appearance with Missanelli felt like a bit much at this juncture. But, I’ll give Aron credit for taking the lumps, like he always does. He attached his face to the franchise, and he’s not backing down now that the going has gotten tough. Then again, Aron is a millionaire businessman who made a name for himself managing distressed entertainment properties back to health, so tough is a relative word here.

What we’ve seen in the year and a half since Aron, majority owner Joshua Harris and their nasally drones* have taken over the team is a series of alarming and somewhat offensive missteps that make you wonder if they nose know what they’re doing.

*Is it just me or do the Sixers have the second most nasally ownership (hello, Mark Cuban) in the NBA? Can’t they get an Afrin sponsorship or something? Hell, their mascot could even be a big nose that sneezes when the Sixers make a three. 

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time on these missteps on the site, so I’ll just touch on some of Aron’s accomplishments since taking over the team, with links for further reading:

Mascots. A moose, a dogg and Jerry Sandusky. These were the options Jim Henson’s Creature Shop came back with and that the Sixers, in turn, released to the public. That was more than a year ago, and the Sixers are still without a mascot.

Confetti. Perhaps the most noticeable in-game enhancement has been the confetti that ejaculates itself after each home win. Because the Sixers are a circus act. Or because it worked on a cruise line that Aron oversaw.

PA announcer. The Sixers get a da fuck? rating here. They turned Matt Cord into the website video interview guy (a role filled by interns at most professional sports organizations) and brought back 842-year-old Tom Lamaine to liven things up at the Well. A year later, they canned Lamaine, held an audition SO YOU CAN BE THE NEXT SIXERS PA ANNOUNCER (!!!)… and then went with Cord all over again. Fans are mad about many things, but I think this is the thing that should be investigated for false advertising. First off, who the hell makes a seasoned pro like Cord compete against jacklefucks to win back his old job? Second, DON’T DANGLE A STICK IN FRONT OF JACKLEFUCKS FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT! The jacklefuck don’t like that. Did any of the auditioners ever really have a chance, or was this just some ruse by the Sixers to make it seem like you, the fan, could be part of the product? Because if it was the latter, I’d suggest holding an open audition to be the team’s center. Surely there is someone in Philadelphia who can pull down more than one rebound per game at the NBA level.

Ayla Brown. She’s pretty. Great pipes. Good singer, too. But she’s a former American Idol contestant from Boston whose father, Scott Brown, was (at the time of her hire) a Massachusetts Senator. Never mind that Harris’ company owns the rights to 19 Entertainment and American Idol, one Boston website lays out a great case that the reason Brown got the anthemeist gig with the Sixers was because, at the time, Harris needed support from then-Senator Brown to pave the way for a casino project that one of his companies, Caesars Entertainment, was bidding for in Boston. [Brown is out of office, but it sounds like Caesars is still in the running].

Cannon. The Sixers most productive offseason acquisition has been a giant cannon that shoots hundreds of t-shirts per minute.

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

Even P.T. Barnum is impressed with the absurdity of that list. Confetti, cannons, probably rigged contests? At what point will there be a bunch of near cross-dressers injecting artificial enthusiasm?

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Ah shit.

Now let’s turn our attention to some select comments made by Aron yesterday, because my BS meter is having a mild freakout.

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As most of you know by now, Xfinity Live! Philadelphia, as it’s officially named, will open the weekend of March 28-30. Back in December, I got an exclusive preview of what you can expect to see inside the new entertainment center, located smack dab in the middle of the Philly sports complex near where the Spectrum used to stand. There will be six main areas: Philly marketplace, NBC Sports Arena, PBR Bar and Grill, Broad Street Bullies Pub, Spectrum Grill, and Victory Beer Hall.

On Thursday, Xfinity Live! VP of Marketing Rob Johnson gave me a tour of the complex which is now just 53 days away from opening. There is still much work to be done, as I had to sidestep puddles, wires, and duck under wood beams and scaffolding (once unsuccessfully…), but it will be open for Bruce Springsteen concertgoers on March 28.

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One of the most-heard reactions to our first post was regarding the size– it doesn’t look big enough to hold six separate areas. Well, without seeing the finished product, I can tell you that the inside is much more open than the building's footprint would lead you to believe. Crowd control will all depend on how well the Xfinity Live! (!!!) folks segment patrons into each of the different areas. On event days and during peak hours, most if not all areas will be open to the public. The full schedule is as follows:

Everyday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.: Broad Street Bullies Pub, NBC Sports Arena, Philly Marketplace

Tuesday-Sunday and event days 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.: Spectrum Grill (earlier hours based on event start time)

Thursday-Sunday and event days 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.: Victory Beer Hall (earlier hours based on event start time), PBR (earlier hours based on event start time)

In short, Xfinity Live! will be open daily from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Two main entranceways, one facing the Wells Fargo Center and one facing Citizens Bank Park, will lead into the marketplace. That area will feature an Old Original Cheesesteak Company stand, where you can mix and match your favorite styles and cuts of streak from well-known local establishments (Pat’s cut, Geno’s cut, etc.). The marketplace will look into the NBC Sports Arena, where a massive, 32-foot HD screen will hang (the largest of its kind– the Cowboys’ screen is bigger, but doesn’t have as high of a resolution). The marketplace will be the hub and center of the complex and will also feature a Chickie’s and Pete’s, a Nick’s Roast Beef, a yet-unannounced coffee bar with “adult milkshakes,” and a yet-unannounced popular local apparel company.

Like the marketplace and NBC Sports Arena, the other four areas will be individually managed: a Philly-style sports bar (Broad Street Bullies Pub), a high-end steak joint (Spectrum Grille), a Tex-Mex style restaurant complete with mechanical bull (PBR), and a German-style beer garden (The Victory Beer Hall).

The Victory Beer Hall has a mezzanine level and a 2,000 square-foot outdoor patio complete with fire pit. 

PBR Bar and Grill is “Tex-Mex by day” and “party bar” at night. It will feature a giant mechanical bull in the center of the room.

Broad Street Bullies Pub is being marketed as a “neighborhood bar,” and will be the most family friendly area of Xfinity Live!.

Spectrum Grill aims to compete and beat high-end steakhouses like the Capital Grille. 

There will be free parking on non-event days, and free parking one hour after the last event begins on game days.

Most parts of Xfinity Live! will be flexible and convertible. Many of the mezzanine areas, including the one overlooking the marketplace and 32-foot HD screen, will be used for DJ booths, live acts, radio stations, VIPs, and as rental space. The complex can seat 1,500 people, but there are many standing areas, and a maximum occupancy has yet to be established.

There are no finishings or fixtures in place, but the video after the jump gives you a good idea of the size and layout of Xfinity Live! Enjoy.

Read our comprehensive preview from back in December here.

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The preseason hasn't even started yet and Bryz is allowing cameras to follow him and his family around the city. Yeah, I'd imagine HBO is frothing at the mouth right now for 24/7.

CSN cameras followed Bryz, Yevgeniya (!!!), and his kids around the Betsy Ross House, the place where Betsy Ross didn't make our first flag. This thing is just full of deep Bryzisms, like, "Without knowing the history, we don't have a future."

Watch it after the jump.

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