The Philadelphia 76ers are the fourth most popular team among the big four American sports teams in the city. The Sixers don’t even rank in the top four if it was based on any area team, according to one manager of a Philadelphia Modell’s store who wants to remain anonymous.
The Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Flyers are ahead, though the recent firing of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel dropped their popularity. Even the city’s soccer and college basketball teams like the Philadelphia Union and Villanova Wildcats rank ahead in terms of popularity.
A big reason is the team lacks a superstar. They don’t even have anyone who is quite star material yet. The lack of a franchise player like Allen Iverson hurts ticket sales and attendance. The same manager who spoke over the phone believes this.
“Even when they played bad and they had Iverson. People are going to want their (Sixers) shirts,” said the manager. He went on later to mention the Eagles usually rank in the top spot, no matter how bad their season may be. Philadelphia is pretty much an Eagles town; however, if a team wins a title like the Phillies did in 2008, fans will make that team a priority.
Philadelphia is a tough city to win over fans in the opinion of many sports analysts. However, the city’s residents are still loyal to their team no matter what the outcome of the season. Local resident Will Sweeney and a few of his friends, who were walking out of the Langhorne, PA Dick’s Sporting Goods store are some of those individuals who haven’t given up on the Sixers.
Sweeney said his favorite sports team in the city are the Eagles; however, the Sixers would rank number one if they started winning. “I like the direction the Sixers are going,” said Sweeney. He believes drafting rookie Michael Carter-Williams and hiring Brett Brown as coach was a good decision. He also feels if they tank this season and draft Andrew Wiggins, the Sixers can be popular again.