What is believed to be the first formal LGBT-recognized event with an NBA team will be happening in Philadelphia on Friday, November 5. A block of seats have been reserved for the LGBT community and friends for “OUT at the Sixers” for the Philadelphia 76ers’ season opener against the Phoenix Suns. It is expected that the names of a number of LGBT groups will have their names displayed on the scoreboard during the game, including Outsports.com.
This event is happening just a few months after the unqualified success of the 2nd Gay Community Night at the Philadelphia Phillies, attracting 1500 gay individuals and their friends to Citizens Bank Park in August 2004. As one of the organizers of the Phillies event, I am working with Comcast-Spectacor, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, on “OUT at the Sixers”. Unlike the Phillies game, where the LGBT community approached the Phillies to mount a “Gay Community Night”, Comcast-Spectacor approached me about doing a group event with one of their teams. Comcast-Spectactor, who also owns the Philadelphia Flyers, is a division of the Comcast Corporation. It is hoped that “OUT at the Sixers”, like “Gay Community Night” at the Phillies, will become an annual event. When the Flyers resume play, I hope to also work with Comcast-Spectacor in organizing an LGBT evening at the Flyers. Philadelphia, known for loud obnoxious passionate sports fans, and teams that are playoff caliber who never seem to get the gold (maybe this year’s Eagles will be the exception), should now also be known as the home of the most progressive pro sports teams owners. By welcoming events such as “Gay Community Night” at the Phillies” and “OUT at the Sixers”, despite protests, Philadelphia’s major professional team owners have declared that all fans, including LGBT sports fans, are welcome.
It is hoped this event will be a fun evening for all attending. But events like this are also important to dispel stereotypes that LGBT individuals are not interested in sports. The success of Outsports.com has shown all of us this stereotype is not accurate. The local and national medial attention the first “Gay Community Night” at the Phillies received dispels this stereotype even further. Our presence and the names of LGBT community groups on the scoreboard will further dispel this stereotype to all the fans in attendance at the 76ers season opener on Friday November 5th.
Tickets are only $24, which reflects a $4 discount off the individual ticket price. Tickets may be purchased by calling Stu Cohen at the Philadelphia 76ers ticket office at (215) 952-5441. Any general questions should be sent to [email protected]