Game 6 on Thursday night in Philadelphia. Will the Wells Fargo Center once again be infested with Knicks fans?

I wrote a Tuesday column outlining the two main problems. One, it’s cheaper for New York fans to come here for a game vs. Madison Square Garden. At 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the get-in price for Game 5 was about $500. Right now, Wednesday morning, Game 6 tickets start around $185 for upper bowl and Assembly Room at the WFC. That’s why a bunch of animals came here for Games 3 and 4, because it was just easier than trying to battle the Wall Street douchebags for decent tickets in Manhattan.

The second thing is that there’s more juice for the Knicks than the Sixers right now. One fan base is seriously energized and the other needs a Xanax at halftime. That’s why you see a lot of season ticket holders cashing in on their investment, because they’re just not feeling the team right now. They paid for the tickets and can do what they please, but they’re the main part of the problem. When you see Knicks fans sitting in the first 10 rows on Thursday night, those are seats that Sixers fans sold.

There’s also a third consideration. We’re just not a hardcore pro basketball town. Someone mentioned the other day that you’d never see this happen at an Eagles game or a Phillies game, and it’s a good point. Sixers fans are a little more pragmatic while Eagles and Phillies fans trend to the “diehard” side of the spectrum, but if the Phils and Mets ever met in the NLDS, it would be a good proof of concept to determine whether the thought is true or false.

Anyway, some options to keep out the New York fans:

  1. season ticket holders actually go to the game
  2. some rich guy buys all of the tickets on the secondary market
  3. build a CHAZ-style autonomous zone around the arena
  4. borrow the college kids at Penn to create an encampment
  5. create some sort of fake COVID restriction that requires a PA or NJ ID to get into the game

Number 1 is the most linear concept, but hard to execute. If STH aren’t into it, what can we do? Shame them? Bully them? Dox them? If they’re gonna cash in, that’s their prerogative.

Number 2 is a pipe dream. Maybe Josh Harris can eat the cost of the tickets and we play in a half-full arena instead. That would be preferable, honestly.

It also begs the question of what Sixers ownership can do here. Is there any process in which they can keep Knicks fans out? I’ll ask around, but I’m not sure. As an exercise in total speculation, you would have to 1) not release the tickets, or 2) sell them yourself, then 3) geofence the sales, i.e. online purchases would be restricted to people in a certain mileage around the Philadelphia region. That might be plausible if you were playing the Boston Celtics and trying to keep their fans out, but there’s so much overlap in the New York and Philly markets that even a restriction like that wouldn’t be totally effective. Then you throw in the mess of ticketing partners and all of that, and it makes me think the Sixers’ hands are tied (I will ask around).

Anyway, I like #3 and #4. We could simply take matters into our own hands. A hostile takeover. Let’s grab a bunch of college kids and work on a few chants:

“From the river to the sea, no Knicks fans in these seats!”

“Brunson, Brunson, what are you trying to prove, we charge you with making non-basketball moves”

That could be possible. Rent a few busses, stuff ’em with Penn kids, and drop them off at the sports complex to set up a perimeter. Grab some Antifa and the tiki-torch guys and throw them into the mix as well. Knicks fans can’t get into the building if there’s a riot taking place.

Another way would be to create our own autonomous zone. CHAZ only lasted a few days, right? We’d need just 24 hours, so this is a plan that could work. We’ll need some granola bars, water, and tents. I’ll play the role of warlord and enforce the rules. No one is allowed into the arena, just the teams, coaches, and Sixers fans.

A 6th idea would be to replicate how they do it in soccer, and put the Knicks fans into one specific area. I wouldn’t mind that. Stuff them up in the nosebleed section. It would be better than seeing the cockroaches interspersed throughout the lower bowl. Put finance bro in the hinterlands and leave him there.