Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Global Sports Summit in Aspen, Colo., Monday evening.
Snider was presented the prize by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and received the award as an owner who, “has made a lasting contribution to their team, league, and community through their leadership and commitment over an extended period of ownership.” And an extended period it has been.
Snider, 82, has been the owner of the Flyers since they came into the league as an expansion team in 1967, and is the longest tenured owner in the NHL.
As the Flyers’ owner, Snider worked to construct the Philadelphia Spectrum, which played host to Philadelphia’s two Stanley Cup championship teams. In 1971, he became the owner of the Spectrum and, three years later, Snider created Spectacor, which would make way for the creation of Comcast SportsNet.
It hasn’t only been in the NHL — or in the media market — that Snider has made his impact, however. Comcast SportsNet’s partnerships with the MLB’s Phillies and NBA’s 76ers has helped grow the network into a local media giant. And Snider was also one of the driving forces behind bringing the two-time Calder Cup champion Philadelphia Phantoms to town.
In 1996, when the Flyers had planned to move to the CoreStates Center (now known as the Wells Fargo Center), Snider’s Comcast Spectacor group swooped in and purchased an AHL franchise, which would then play out of the now vacant Spectrum. The Phantoms remained in the Spectrum for the next 13 years until the building’s demolition in 2009, at which time the club moved to Adirondack to become the Adirondack Phantoms.
One of the biggest impacts he has had on the sport in Philadelphia, however, remains the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, which provides those who may not have the means to play hockey the chance to do so.
In addition to teaching kids the game, the foundation also helps children achieve on-time graduation through educational services. According to the Flyers, the foundation, “partnered with the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2010 to complete a $14.5 million construction project, completely refurbishing the four public rinks for year round use.”
The foundation now helps more than 3,000 children throughout Philadelphia and nearby Camden.
The Global Sports Summit award isn’t the only lifetime honor Snider has received, however. In 1988, Snider was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame inducted him in the class of 2011.