Peter Luukko, who served as President and COO of Comcast Spectacor and the Flyers, joined Snow The Goalie on this week’s episode and shared some eye-opening stories, including one that he says hasn’t gotten enough attention: Ed Snider going all-in to build the CoreStates Center (now Wells Fargo Center).

When you think of Ed Snider, what comes to mind? Comcast? The Flyers? Tremendous wealth? While Snider was well-off prior to the construction of the Sixers and Flyers’ home, he wasn’t the multi-billionaire that outlets valued his net worth at prior to his passing in 2016. According to Luukko, Snider had two options:

  1. Cash out on his life’s work and Spectacor holdings, including the Spectrum, Flyers, and PRISM.
  2. Put it all up as collateral to acquire the funding needed to build the Center.

He obviously chose the latter and the rest is history.

As Luukko described it:

“Ed Snider, he had accumulated wealth, but wasn’t a billionaire and he could have lived comfortably the rest of his life if he had sold the team or played it out. He put everything on the line again, similar to what he did when he bought the flyers, and put up the team, put up a lot of personal property, and basically, you know, had a hell of a big mortgage all personally. So he put up his personal wealth to build that arena. And you know, the rest is history and it’s a great story. We ended up doing the deal with Comcast, which was fantastic, but I don’t think many man would have done what he did because he could have gone back to Montecito and had one hell of a life without any worries and he put it all on the line and I think it was his love of the flyers, frankly. That was very much was such a big, obviously, part of his life, so he did it and it was fun to be part of it.”

It’s crazy to think just how invested Snider was in his team and this city. I can rattle off a list of current owners across the country who would’ve chosen the former option over what Snider opted to do.

Peter Luukko shared plenty of other stories about Ed Snider, Al Davis, Gary Bettman, David Stern, the behind-the-scenes of the 2011 trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, and what went into bringing Eric Lindros back for the 2012 Winter Classic Alumni Game. Find the show on your favorite podcast app and subscribe.

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