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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sixers Owners Buy Own Tickets to Avoid Repeat Knicks Takeover in Philly

  • Tickets will be given to first responders and local workers. 
  • The Sixers forced Game 6 in a Tuesday overtime win. 
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When in doubt, buy what you already own. 

That’s how a trio of Sixers owners and a former one handled the Wells Fargo Center seating after Knicks fans traveled down I-95 and took over the arena in the team’s Game 4 victory Sunday. 

Michael Rubin, the CEO of Fanatics and former Sixers minority owner, tweeted Wednesday afternoon that he, along with owners Josh Harris, David Blitzer, and David Adelman, purchased 2,000 seats for Thursday’s Game 6 so Knicks fans can’t access them. Rubin said the tickets will go to first responders, healthcare workers, and employees of other Philadelphia-based organizations. 

“We absolutely CANNOT let Knicks fans take over our arena again!” Rubin said in the tweet

Additionally, for extra motivation, the organization is reportedly extending the Bricken for Chicken promotion beyond the second half of games and for the entirety of contests for the rest of the postseason, according to “Crossing Broad.” That means if the Knicks miss a pair of consecutive free throws at any point in the game, the fans can celebrate with up to 12 free chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A.

The decisions come after New York star Jalen Brunson torched Philadelphia for 47 points Sunday to put his team up 3–1 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Brunson starred at Villanova, which plays a handful of games every year at Wells Fargo Center, and his performance broke Bernard King’s franchise record for points scored in a playoff game. 

Chants of “MVP” for Brunson rang loud during Sunday’s game and could be heard through the television broadcast despite Sixers’ fans and arena operators’ best attempts to drown them out. The Knicks know that tactic well, as they’ve employed the same approach to drown out fans’ “Sell the team” chants that rang loud during the organization’s recently leaner seasons. Even Brunson seemed surprised by the chants he got in Philadelphia. 

“The Philly fan base is relentless and very passionate, and I should know since I’m an Eagles fan,” Brunson said Sunday. “But hearing the Knicks fans here was pretty cool. It was awesome. They’re real. No matter where we are, they’re going to be there.”  

Sixers star Joel Embiid went after the fan base for letting Wells Fargo sound like Madison Square Garden south. 

“I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been here for 10 years,” Embiid told reporters after the game. “Yeah, it kind of pisses me off, especially because Philly is considered a sports town. They’ve always shown up, and I don’t think that should happen. Yeah. It’s not O.K.” 

It doesn’t help the Sixers that playoff tickets at MSG can cost fans several hundred dollars while seats at Wells Fargo are going for significantly cheaper, giving fans reason to make the two-hour trek to the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia rallied to beat New York 112–106 in overtime Tuesday night to narrow the series deficit to 3–2. 

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