Montgomery reflects on Snider's legacy

Philadelphia sports icon passes away at age 83

April 11th, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- Ed Snider was directly involved at some point of his remarkable life with three of the four major professional sports teams in Philadelphia: Flyers, Sixers and Eagles.

"We were the one he wasn't involved with," Phillies chairman Dave Montgomery said before Monday's home-opening 4-3 loss to the Padres, reacting to the news that Snider had passed away at the age of 83. "And yet our friendship on a professional level between the organizations is as deep as any."

When Snider started PRISM, helping start the concept of regional sports networks, the Phillies were offered an opportunity to invest. They passed, to their later regret, but entered a business relationship that allowed local fans to see their games on television.

"But we got a mulligan on that, because some 22 years later, we were able to work with [Snider, the Flyers and the Sixers] to put together what's currently Comcast SportsNet," Montgomery said.

The Phillies not only have a stake in the enterprise, but are in the first year of a 20-year, $2.5 billion deal with CSN.

When Citizens Bank Park was being built, the Phillies worked out a joint parking agreement with Snider.

The Phillies modeled their annual fund-raising event to raise money to combat Lou Gehrig's Disease after the Flyers Wives Carnival.

Montgomery also remembered Snider as an innovator, pointing out that when he built the Spectrum for his hockey and basketball teams, part of the blueprint called for a restaurant called the Blue Line Club.

"That was one of the first innovations that Ed was involved with. Up until that time, if you attended events at the Palestra or Convention Hall or Connie Mack Stadium or wherever, there wasn't a thought to having a restaurant in the facility. But the Spectrum had the Blue Line Club," he said.

The two franchises worked together to make the NHL's Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park a reality. Both organizations worked to develop a strong family culture. Snider watched a couple of games of the 2008 World Series with Montgomery and was in turn invited to come across Pattison Avenue to watch the Flyers.

"I knew better than that," he said with a laugh. "Because when you think of Ed -- and I think this is what really appeals to the Philadelphia sports fan about Ed Snider -- he [had] a passion for sports. And a passion to win."

In February, Montgomery was honored to be presented with the Ed Snider Lifetime Achievement Award.

"In many ways we learned from the Flyers," Montgomery said. "And perhaps in a few things they learned from us."