The Business of a Hockey Game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia
BY Judith Ohikuare
Here's a look at the companies that provide the scoreboards, displays, shielding, and safety nets that make it possible for the Philadelphia Flyers to entertain fans at a hometown game.
Shielding and safety nets
On this night, 19,593 fans packed the Wells Fargo Center. To help keep them safe from pucks and other projectiles, the rink is surrounded by 522 linear feet of acrylic shielding made by Sport Systems Unlimited/Athletica, which has facilities in Minneapolis and Waterloo, Ontario. The shielding absorbs shock better than the tempered glass used previously at the arena; that cuts down on player injuries. Founded in 1996 by Trevor Brodie, Sport Systems Unlimited merged with Athletica two years ago. The 100-employee company, which also supplied the Kevlar safety nets shown here, is run by Brodie, its president, and CEO Adam Pender. It has supplied equipment to 4,500 rinks worldwide.
LED scoreboard and ribbon displays
When the Blues beat the Flyers, 4-2, the final tally appeared on this 360-degree scoreboard created by ANC Sports Enterprises of Purchase, New York, which also supplied the arena's LED ribbon displays. During the game, the screens displayed ads, stats, scores, and on-ice action, including the fight shown here. President and CEO Jerome Cifarelli founded ANC, in 1997, with Alan Cohen, a former part-owner of the Boston Celtics. Today, the $51 million company has 47 full-time employees, more than 100 part-time employees, and roughly 200 customers nationwide, including Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.
Regulation National Hockey League rinks are 200 feet long and 85 feet wide, with rounded corners. The official game markings pictured here, including goal lines and face-off circles, were created using red, white, and blue ice paint made by Jet Ice of Newmarket, Ontario. Once applied, the paint freezes into place and lasts an entire season. Doug Moore founded Jet Ice in 1979. The 25-person company, which is now run by president Deborah Wilcock, has supplied paint, stencils, and related products to some 5,000 clients worldwide, including New York City's Madison Square Garden and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
JUDITH OHIKUARE is a reporter for Inc. magazine. She was a features intern for Seventeen magazine, where she covered health and wellness, and her work has been also been published in Marie Claire. Judith is from Brooklyn, New York. @ohikuare