Ed Snider is an iconic entrepreneur and true visionary in the sports and entertainment industry. His emergence as a leader in the Philadelphia sports market began in 1966 when he brought a National Hockey League franchise to the city as the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers. He became the driving force behind the construction of the Spectrum and assumed control of the building in 1971. In 1974, Snider created Spectacor as the management company to oversee the Flyers and Spectrum. Over the next 20 years, Spectacor experienced unprecedented growth, earning national acclaim for its impact in the sports and entertainment business. Under Snider’s guidance, Spectacor developed and acquired nearly a dozen related companies.
In 1996, Snider merged Spectacor with the Comcast Corporation to form Comcast-Spectacor. The new venture initially consisted of the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers, Wells Fargo Center, The Spectrum, and the Philadelphia Phantoms. Comcast-Spectacor then joined with the Philadelphia Phillies to form Comcast SportsNet, one of the highest-rated regional sports cable networks in the country.
Most recently, Comcast-Spectacor developed Global Spectrum, an international facilities management company; Ovations Food Services, an international concessions company; New Era Tickets; and the Flyers Skate Zones. These entities all represent components of Snider’s vision: “Take what you do well and grow it.”
Through an illustrious career, Snider originated and developed PRISM, the country’s largest regional pay television network. He and his son Jay also created one of the nation’s first all-sports radio stations, WIP in 1987.
Snider’s success and business acumen have been widely recognized by his peers. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and serves on the NHL’s Executive Committee. He is a recipient of the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States and has been elected to the US Hockey Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the Washington, DC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and the Flyers Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s William Penn Award, the most prestigious business honor in the region, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awarded to Americans of all ethnic backgrounds who have made significant contributions to our society.
One of Snider’s more recent and proudest accomplishments is the creation of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, which provides underserved children from inner-city communities with the opportunity to learn to play ice hockey at area rinks. The program features an educational component that emphasizes the importance of staying in school, community service and goal-setting. In 2008, by taking control of funding and operations, the Foundation rescued three Philadelphia inner-city ice-skating rinks that budgetary constraints had forced the city to target for closure. This partnership quickly grew to include the staffing and programming at all five of the city's public rinks. In 2011, the Foundation matched a grant by the Commonwealth to fund a $13 million renovation project that will ensure the long-range sustainability of these vital community resources and result in the enclosure of up to four of these rinks for year round use.
Snider has received honorary degrees from Hahnemann University and Thomas Jefferson Hospital. He is also the benefactor of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Vice Chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Snider’s philanthropic generosity has benefitted numerous organizations and agencies throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region.
In May 1999, readers of the Philadelphia Daily News selected him as Philly’s greatest mover and shaker of the millennium.