The Toughest Ticket in Town: Seeing The Flyers With My Dad at the Perennially Sold Out Spectrum

by Barry R.

For a young teen in Philadelphia in the 1974-1975 timeframe, there was no greater love than the Broad Street Bullies: Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish, Dave Schultz, et al. They dominated the NHL with brawn, offensive firepower, and amazing goaltending, and every kid I knew loved them. They would win the Stanley Cup in both the 1974-1975 and 1975-1976 seasons when I was 15 and 16 years old, respectively.

I still remember the attendance number for each game as it was recorded in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News because it was the same every game, 17,007. That meant a sell out at the Spectrum, and the Flyers literally sold out every game for years back in the 1970s, which made it virtually impossible to see a game if you weren’t a season ticket holder.

My dad and I regularly went to Phillies games first at Connie Mack Stadium and then at Veterans Stadium but we had never seen a Flyers game. That is until one day he came home from work with a pair of tickets. My dad owned a wholesale floral supply business, meaning he sold the ribbons, baskets, pine cones, and little stuffed birds that retail florists used in their flower arrangements.

Turned out that one of my dad’s florist clients had a pair of season tickets to the Flyers but every now and then he couldn’t attend because of work, especially busy days around floral holidays like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. Sometimes he’d offer the pair to my father, and I see from the stubs I saved that we were able to attend four games during the Flyers championship years plus others in ‘77, ‘78, and ‘79.

They were great seats at the front of the second level and right on the blue line. Better yet is that I got to share the experience with my dad, and he’s who I think of when I look at these old ticket stubs.

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