Escalating Friction Between NBA and NHL Following Scheduling Disputes

Elliot Ben Jacob
July 22, 2023  (6:06 PM)

Philadelphia 76ers Co-Owner Accuses Flyers of Preferential Scheduling

David Adelman, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, has raised questions about the scheduling fairness between the 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Both teams play their home games at the Wells Fargo Center, and Adelman has suggested that the Flyers receive preferential treatment in scheduling.

Adelman highlighted disparities such as more frequent back-to-back games for the 76ers, limited home games during the holiday season, and a notable absence of weekend day games. The 76ers co-owner suggested the Flyers and concerts get their desired dates first, leaving the remainder to the basketball team.
"When you look at our schedule, we play more 5-out-of-7 nights and more back to backs than anyone else in the league, on average. We've been home once for Christmas the last 11 years....The way the schedule works is the Flyers get their dates, the concerts get their dates, and then we get the rest. You don't see us with a lot of weekend day games, but you see the Flyers with a lot of them."

Despite being the team of recent NBA MVP Joel Embiid and having a streak of playoff appearances, Adelman believes the 76ers have been neglected in the scheduling process.
With the team's current status and popularity, it might be expected that the 76ers would have more influence in scheduling.

Flyers Chairman Denies Scheduling Bias

Flyers Chairman Dan Hilferty refuted Adelman's comments, stating that the scheduling process is fair and balanced between the two teams.
"What is true is that we have a fair, back-and-forth, shared approach to scheduling. Sometimes we win, sometimes (the Sixers) win.....just based on whose turn it is."

Hilferty also expressed frustration over the accusations, denying any advantage and highlighting the success in securing desired events.
"Nobody has an advantage. And 98% of the events that we'd like to have here, we get here. But it's the one thing that does upset me about the rhetoric that's coming from the Sixers is that they're disadvantaged in that way."

Could Arena Sharing Be the Root of the Dispute?

The disagreement between Adelman and Hilferty could be traced back to an ongoing discussion about the shared use of the Wells Fargo Center.
Adelman is leading a project to construct a new arena in Philadelphia for the 76ers by 2031. There has been an invitation extended to the Flyers to potentially use the new venue.
Dan Hilferty, in his capacity as Chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectator - the owner of Wells Fargo Center - has expressed his preference for both teams to continue using their current venue.
The question of how the 76ers are treated at the Wells Fargo Center and if there's a disadvantage due to Hilferty's dual role has been raised by Adelman. However, no concrete evidence supporting this claim has been presented.
In any case, it's clear that the scheduling dispute has revealed deeper tensions between the two teams' management, especially on the part of the 76ers front office.