Irving Azoff Not Happy with Comcast-Spectacor Calling his Wells Fargo Center Statements a "Myth"
Sixers’ co-owner David Adelman shared on Friday morning a letter that the Azoff Company sent to Comcast-Spectacor’s Dan Hilferty, in regard to the sloppy public dispute over the 76 Place arena project:
For months, @ComcstSpectacor has been lurking in the shadows, hiding behind others, while it lobbies decision makers and twists arms to try to stop the @sixers from building our own privately funded arena. It’s great news they finally are stepping out — but I wouldn’t have come… https://t.co/XhlMg9S6Gp pic.twitter.com/xhqOFdvlzR
— David Adelman (@david_adelman) September 22, 2023
Irving Azoff is a power player in the music industry. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame manages a ton of bands, like the Eagles and Bon Jovi.
Now, for further context –
Comcast-Spectacor has been countering Sixers arena claims via the Wells Fargo Center account, posting a couple of tweets that say MYTH in big, red letters. The first tweet disputed Azoff’s claim that he was “unable to secure a Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center for a major music client, which affected tour plans.” The passage, which was shared on Adelman’s Facebook page, goes on to quote Azoff, saying “It’s not just that night they eat up, it’s the whole week, in case of playoff games and sort of thing. It’s hard to play music in a building that has an NBA and NHL team. There’s plenty of room in the Philly market for two arenas.”
This topic has been argued and litigated ad nauseam through the arena project. I spoke with both the Sixers and Comcast-Spectacor about this, who explained that tour dates are typically scheduled in advance of the NBA and NHL schedules, so there will be certain calendar times blocked off to accommodate those performances, be it Guns N Roses or Roger Waters for what feels like the 17th year in a row. Same with Disney on Ice and all of that. From there, the Sixers and Flyers sit down and take turns choosing the remaining available dates for their games. It’s a collaborative process, again, confirmed by both sides.
The WFC tweet disputes Azoff’s claim, saying that “The Wells Fargo Center had open dates for a concert on the very same weekday dates in Boston. Fact is, in the last 8 years, the Wells Fargo Center has not been able to accommodate a grand total of 2 concerts.”
So this basically amounts to a he said/she said kind of thing. I’m sure we’ll learn more at some point, but the overarching takeaway is that the arena debate keeps getting messier and messier. The gloves have officially come off, if they weren’t already off. As I mentioned in Thursday’s column, it’s one thing for the Sixers to leave when their lease is up, but it’s the comments about the scheduling process that really seem to annoy Comcast-Spectacor and result in public responses. If a tenant is leaving, okay, but they feel like they’re being dragged via claims that they say are untrue, hence the tweets from the WFC account.
I think what should happen next is a public debate, moderated by Crossing Broad. I am 100% serious about this. We will sit everybody down and have a big boy talk, like it’s Obama’s beer summit. I’ll have a Well Crafted Blonde Americano and Pagan can drink an O’Doul’s. It’ll be Pagan and myself hosting, Adelman, Hilferty, Azoff, and Chinatown reps as well. We’ll get this figured out in no time. We’ll hash out a compromise that makes everyone happy.
Here’s the letter in an easier to read form: