The man who made possible many of the previous statues surrounding the Wells Fargo Center is getting one of his own.
A bronze statue of Ed Snider, the late founder of the Flyers and Comcast-Spectacor, will be unveiled prior to the Oct. 19 home game against Nashville, which marks the team’s 50th anniversary of the franchise’s first home game.
That game, on Oct. 19, 1967, was against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Snider, the principal owner and face of the franchise from its inception until his death on April 11, 2016, mortgaged his home in 1966 in order to establish a National Hockey League franchise in Philadelphia. In the decades that followed, he became the driving force behind the Spectrum, home to the Flyers and 76ers.
Later, he used private funds to get the Wells Fargo Center built.
“I got traded to this team and he welcomed me with open arms,’’ Wayne Simmonds said Wednesday after practice. “I always say when I was in Los Angeles I think I saw the team owner one time. Once I came to Philly I saw Mr. Snider almost on a daily basis. It was great to have that type of interaction with the owner of your team. And you could tell this team meant so, so much to him.’’
The nine-foot tall, 1,300-pound statue stands on a three-foot base encased by solid granite. It was created and built by Chad Fisher, of Fisher Sculpture of Dillsburg, Pa. The process began eight months ago in the archives office of the Wells Fargo Center where Fisher selected several photos of Snider to base his design. He then met with members of the Snider Family and Comcast Spectacor executives to agree on the proper layout.
“He still continues to do a lot even though he has passed,’’ said Simmonds, mentioning Snider hockey and the various charities his family still supports in his honor. “This town has a great person to look up to in Mr. Snider. Even though he’s gone his legacy is going to live on forever. I think it’s only right that he is honored with a statue. Because he means so much to this town.”