76ers Owners Buy 2,000 Tickets to Playoff Game to Stop Knicks Fans Taking Over Arena

Jen Krausz
By Jen Krausz
May 2, 2024Sports News
76ers Owners Buy 2,000 Tickets to Playoff Game to Stop Knicks Fans Taking Over Arena
Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers tipoff during the overtime period at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 30, 2024. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The owners of the Philadephia 76ers and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin banded together and bought more than 2,000 tickets to Game 6 of the playoff series between their team and the New York Knicks on Thursday to avoid a repeat of Game 4 when Knicks fans swarmed the arena.

“Josh Harris, David Blitzer, @david_adelman and I just bought more than 2,000 tix for Sixers Game 6 – we absolutely CANNOT let Knicks fans take over our arena again!!!” Mr. Rubin, who was once a minority owner in the team, wrote in a post on social media platform X.

“Giving them to first responders, health care professionals and other local Philadelphia-based organizations once we know they’re legit Sixers fans and not imposters!! Let’s go Sixers – we can do this!!” he continued.

The series between the two teams nearly ended with a Knicks win in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, but the Sixers tied it up in the final 25.1 seconds of the game and won in overtime.

The series stands at 3-2 going into Game 6, so the owners want to guarantee a show of support for the home team.

The 76ers playoff tickets are significantly cheaper in the resale market than Knicks tickets at the Garden, making it tempting for Knicks fans in New York, which is less than a two-hour drive from Philadelphia.

For example, a resale ticket for Game 5 in section 109 at the Garden was selling for $1500, while seats for Game 6 at Wells Fargo Center in similar sections were only $380-450.

Knicks fans were vocal inside and outside the arena after beating the Sixers in Game 4 in Philadelphia and even decorated the Wilt Chamberlain statue with a Knicks jersey.

The display upset star Sixers player Joel Embiid, who said Sunday he was “disappointed” there weren’t more Sixers fans in attendance.

I love our fans. I think it’s unfortunate — and I’m not calling them out — but it is disappointing,” Mr. Embiid said to ESPN. “Obviously you got a lot of Knicks fans, they’re down the road. I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been here for 10 years. Yeah, it kind of pisses me off, especially because Philly is considered a sports town. They’ve always shown up. I don’t think that should happen. Yeah, it’s not OK.”

As far as the teams go, ticket broker Michael Collazo told the New York Post that teams try not to sell tickets to opposing fans when the teams are in close proximity like the 76ers and Knicks are, but once the tickets get into secondary markets like Stubhub and SeatGeek, there isn’t much a team can do.

Former Sixers greats have spoken out to fans in the media and social media to encourage attendance at Game 6.

Charles Barkley said in a message to Action News, a local media outlet, “Y’all got to stand up and stand out. It’s time for y’all to rise up to support those guys. Those guys were up to New York and busted their tail. Come on, man. Make that place the best home court advantage in the NBA.”

“Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving said on X, “Come out and support our Sixers on Thursday. Our @sixers Fans are the Best and will prove it Thursday. Guys go fight and win on Thursday.”

Women’s basketball coach and Sixers fan Dawn Staley urged season ticket holders “DO NOT SEEL YOUR TICKETS to Knicks fans” and said, “Pour into our @sixers!”

The game has a late start at 9 p.m. as the second part of a doubleheader for TV that starts with the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers at 6:30 p.m.

The late start, which many fans complained about online, may be another factor making it hard for fans to attend when they may have children who need to go to school the next day, or they have an early work schedule.

With more than 2,000 free tickets in the offing, however, there should be significantly more Sixers fans in attendance than in Game 4.

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