Nutter goes out to the ballgame(s)

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Michael Nutter has genuinely embraced soccer in his time as Philadelphia's mayor. (Michael S. Wirtz/Staff file photo)

At first blush, Mayor Nutter isn't much of a sports fan.

He had a free box available at every professional sports event in the city in 2012, but the latest list of people who used the mayor's seats showed Nutter went to just nine contests all year - four 76ers games, three Eagles games, and one each for the Flyers and Phillies.

But the figures are wrong, according to spokesman Mark McDonald.

"People don't ask him for a ticket; they just let him in," McDonald said. "Then he goes up to the mayor's box and chums around with the folks who are there. It's a lot more than nine games, but not as many as he'd like."

The biggest recipient of seats in the city's boxes was the Mayor's Very Impressive Performers (VIP) program, which distributes tickets to Philadelphia school students in recognition of their academic performance. The program got 828 tickets last year, and has had a total of 6,848 since Nutter initiated it in 2008, according to the Mayor's Office.

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