• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Owners of the Philadelphia 76ers confirm they are having confidential discussions about the future of the team amid reports of the team’s “imminent” sale.

The man who helped jump start excitement for the Sixers back in the mid-1990s says this might be the time for change.

Back in 1996, when Comcast-Spectacor was formed and Ed Snider bought the Sixers in partnership with the cable giant, athletic trainer and motivational coach Pat Croce was hired as the team’s president.

Croce, now living and working in St. Augustine, Florida, says he still follows the Sixers from afar, and if the team is about to change hands, it could be an exciting time.

“I think any time a team gets new blood, new direction, and someone who’s willing to put bucks in, yeah, it’s great for the team,” he said. “It’s great for the city as long as the vision is for a parade.”

Croce says he’s proud of coach Doug Collins and confident Philly fans would pack the arena again in greater numbers if they saw something in a new group of owners.

“When you demonstrate passion and winning attitude, you’re going to see that place fill up again.”

One local sports expert agrees that a sale could be a good move.

The 76ers have been struggling for years in terms of winning games and luring fans.

Joe Mahan, assistant professor in the Sport and Recreation Management Program at Temple University, says a sale could be a change for the better.

“This sort of infusion, not only of cash but a new ownership group would bring in but perspective and a fresh take could do a lot for a franchise.”

He adds he doesn’t expect a possible sale to mean the Sixers would leave Philadelphia.

Reported by Mark Abrams and Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio

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