With national unemployment at 10.2 percent in October and many families struggling to make ends meet, Comcast-Spectacor is trying to keep customers. It has labeled several new lower-priced ticket packages "recession busters." All offers can be found on sixers.com, philadelphiaflyers.com, and WachoviaCenter.com. The company said it would offer "last-minute" deals akin to those offered by airlines and Broadway shows. Fans must register online for these so-called "Buzzer Beater" offers.
"We have cross promoted the Flyers and Sixers for several years since Comcast-Spectacor acquired the Sixers in 1996," Peter Luukko, Comcast-Spectacor president and chief operating officer, wrote in an e-mail response to The Inquirer. "This is the first time we're trying a Flyers-Sixers combo package. It's something we've been wanting to try. We're excited about the opportunity. It may lead to more cross promotion."
The fan bases of the Sixers and Flyers have been vastly different, and combining a ticket package is unusual.
"We look at it more as they're Philadelphia sports fans," Luukko wrote. "The customer is familiar with the Wachovia Center and knows the high quality of service we provide and we want to encourage them to try the Flyers (if they're Sixers fans) or try the Sixers (if they're Flyers fans)."
On average, the Flyers have drawn many more fans than the Sixers to the Wachovia Center this season.
The Flyers are No. 3 in NHL attendance, averaging 19,344 fans per game.
The Sixers are last in the NBA, averaging 11,411 a game. The Chicago Bulls lead the NBA (21,111).
Luukko said the combined package is not about trying to boost the Sixers' attendance, but about "affordability."
In six home games, the Sixers have drawn an announced crowd totaling 68,471, which puts the Wachovia Center at 56.1 percent capacity. The Sixers are below both the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings, cities without a long-standing NBA franchise.
Through 12 NHL games, the Flyers filled the Wachovia Center at 99.2 percent capacity, trailing only the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks.
Cablevision, which owns the New York Rangers and New York Knicks, has never offered a combination ticket package between its franchises, according to the Knicks' vice president of public relations, Jonathan Supranowitz.
Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.