Hey, so remember when they knocked down the Spectrum to build a giant entertainment complex in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot?
(Oh, remember when they scaled back that project to the point where they eliminated plans for the hotel that was going to be built on the Spectrum site, meaning they may not have needed to knock the place down and sell the Phantoms off to Upstate New York at all? Yeah.)
Remember how awesome that complex was last spring when the Flyers were in the playoffs? It was almost like you were at the game, what with the big screen TVs and the hundreds of people in orange and everything. The second-best thing to being at the game, at least.
If you haven't heard, the NHL has locked out their players and they won't be starting the season on time. That means no opening night against the Boston Bruins Thursday. That means no big party at Xfinity Live!, and that means the massive complex has a problem on their hands.
How the hell are we going to get people in the doors? The Phillies are done, the Eagles are only once a week, the Sixers don't start for a month (and they don't really bring in the masses, anyway).
Hm. I guess we can just try to get money from Flyers fans.
On Thursday, the same night as the scheduled start of the NHL season, Xfinity Live! will host a live screening of HBO's fantastic Broad Street Bullies documentary. Bob Kelly, Joe Watson and Gary Dornhoefer will be there, season ticket holders get special access and there are a bunch of drink specials.
The following Thursday, a night where the Flyers would have hosted the Penguins across the parking lot, Xfinity Live! will screen Game 3 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals against the Rangers. Same deal: Alumni on hand, drink specials, etc. Two nights later on Oct. 20, a night the Flyers would have hosted Winnipeg, the complex will host an NHL13 tournament. Prizes for winners, drink specials and whatnot.
Comcast needs to keep people coming down to Xfinity Live! regardless of whether or not the Flyers are in action. I get that. Business and stuff. But there's something about the way they're going about it that rubs me the wrong way. Feels shitty that they expect us to spend our money there regardless of a lockout.
Comcast-Spectacor owns the Xfinity Live! complex, and quite obviously, Comcast-Spectacor owns the Flyers. But instead of billing these events as some sort of lockout therapy for depressed Flyers fans, they're calling it a "celebration of hockey."
Yeah, seriously. Via the press release:
XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, the dining and entertainment district located on the former site of the Spectrum, will literally roll out the orange carpet to celebrate hockey by showing the HBO Sports documentary Broad Street Bullies, Classic Flyers Games and hosting an EA Sports NHL 13 videogame tournament.
No mention of the fact that they're forced into doing all of this because they've helped locked out the hockey team you love. It's a celebration of the game!
Oh, and season ticket holders! Never mind the fact that you paid for your tickets months ago, and we won't let you cancel that commitment without pushing you down the priority list. We'll give you VIP seating at a free screening of an HBO documentary to make up for it (but seating is limited). And you better buy drinks.
I know why they're doing it, and I don't blame a business for trying to make money. But something just feels weird about this. It's like they've broken our hearts, but oh, hey, you'll sleep with me again, right?
No thanks. I can play watch HBO at home. Call me when you're playing hockey again.