Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider will receive the President’s Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Maryland on Saturday, April 14. The award is presented to a University of Maryland alumnus who has achieved national recognition for excellence in his or her profession or field. University of Maryland President Dr. Wallace Loh will present the Award to Snider who graduated from College Park in 1955.
“I am so pleased that this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award is being presented to Ed Snider,” said Loh.
“This is one of the greatest recognitions the University of Maryland conveys, and Ed is certainly deserving of it.
“Upon becoming president, I announced the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship was one of my strategic goals for the University,” continued Loh. “With his accomplishments in so many areas, especially the creation of regional sports cable networks, entertainment, sports, and philanthropy, Ed Snider serves as an excellent role model for University of Maryland students of today. I congratulate him and look forward to presenting him with this most prestigious award.”
Previous winners include William E. Mayer, Senior Partner, Park Avenue Equity Partners (2011); Michael D. Griffin of NASA (2007); Jeong H. Kim, President of Bell Laboratories, Founder of Lucent Technologies, Inc. (2005); John Apel, President of Global Ocean Associates (2001), among others.
Snider is an iconic entrepreneur and true visionary in the sports and entertainment industry. His emergence as a leader in the Philadelphia Sports Market began in 1966, by bringing a National Hockey League franchise to the city, as the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers. He became the driving force behind the construction of the Spectrum and assumed control of the building in 1971. In 1974, Snider created Spectacor as the management company to oversee the Flyers and Spectrum. Over the next 20 years, Spectacor experienced unprecedented growth earning national acclaim for its impact in the sports and entertainment business. Under Snider’s guidance, Spectacor developed and acquired nearly a dozen related companies.
In 1996, he merged Spectacor with the Comcast Corporation to form Comcast-Spectacor. The new venture initially consisted of the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers, Wells Fargo Center, Wells Fargo Spectrum, and Philadelphia Phantoms. Comcast-Spectacor then joined with the Philadelphia Phillies to form Comcast SportsNet, one of the highest-rated regional sports cable networks in the country.
More recently, Comcast-Spectacor developed Global Spectrum, an international facilities management company; Ovations Food Services, an international concessions company; New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing company; and the Flyers Skate Zone community ice rinks. Comcast-Spectacor acquired Paciolan, a leading provider of ticketing software technology from Live Nation in March of 2010. These entities all represent components of Snider’s vision: “Take what you do well and grow it.”
Snider’s success and business acumen have been widely recognized by his peers. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and serves on the NHL’s Executive Committee. He is a recipient of the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States and has been elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the Washington, DC, Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and the Flyers Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s William Penn Award, the most prestigious business honor in the region, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awarded to Americans of all ethnic backgrounds who have made significant contributions to our society. He is also a past recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Americanism Award.
One of Snider’s recent accomplishments is the creation of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, which provides underserved children in the Philadelphia area with the opportunity to learn to play ice hockey at area rinks. The program features an educational component that emphasizes teamwork and goal setting as important life lessons. In 2008, the Snider Hockey Foundation rescued three of the five Philadelphia inner-city ice-skating rinks that had been targeted for closure by funding and operating them for the City. The Foundation now funds and administers programming in all five City rinks. More recently, Snider Hockey and the City of Philadelphia have enclosed three of these five rinks, making them year-round operational.