Lisa Feigenbaum has been thrown into a difficult situation — trying to get Philadelphia Flyers fans to watch a team coming off the second-worst season in franchise history — but she is undaunted by her task.
Having spent eight years (2012-20) with the NBA’s lowly Sacramento Kings prepared her for her new job as senior vice president of ticketing for the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center.
“I had a tremendous opportunity there, and I think in many ways, the situation there makes me uniquely qualified to come in and really have an impact here,” said Feigenbaum, who was born and raised in West Hartford, Conn.
She will oversee all ticketing at the Wells Fargo Center, including the Flyers, Wings, concerts, and family shows.
Most recently, she worked briefly as senior VP of ticketing for the XFL, a pro football league set to re-launch in February.
“And when this opportunity came about,” she said, “it was a no-brainer to get to work for such an iconic franchise.”
Well, the Flyers at one time were an iconic franchise. But not many fans would use that adjective anymore.
The Flyers have won one playoff series in the last 10 years. They are only slightly better than the Sacramento Kings during Feigenbaum’s eight seasons there: zero playoff appearances in that span.
Feigenbaum is well-aware of the Flyers’ struggles over the last decade.
Does that make her job tougher?
“Listen, I get it,” she said in an interview last week. “But to me, it’s all about what I can control, and it’s all about energy and optimism and focusing on the iconic brand and legacy that this organization has. I believe in our fan base, and I’m not worried about it.”
Feigenbaum exudes enthusiasm.
“I love Philly. I’m all in,” she said, noting she recently set roots here by purchasing a Fairmount condo.
After working for the NBA’s Kings, she was executive VP and chief strategy officer for the WNBA’s Dallas Wings and Panther City Lacrosse of the the National Lacrosse League.
Because the Sacramento Kings struggled, she knows the challenges her job with the Flyers will bring.
“I got to open a brand-new building there,” she said. “And the transformation project that has happened here ($350 million in renovations to the Wells Fargo Center) is fantastic. And look, the Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006 and we have a very loyal and excited fan base in Sacramento. I never thought I had experienced such a prideful fan base — and now I find myself in this situation. The passion of the Philly sports fans is (great). I’m really excited to marry my past experience and bring some new energy here and hit the ground running.”
Feigenbaum said she will “focus on the fan experience.”
“And given the situation we were in in Sacramento, it really gave me the opportunity to double-down on that, and I’m really excited to have an impact here, too.”
She said she will “lean” on the Flyers’ tradition and creating year-round benefits for season-ticket holders.
Searching for new fans
One of her aspirations, Feigenbaum said, is to figure a way to “get some new fans exposed to our product. The younger, casual fans, people like me who are moving into the area.”
The Kings’ home attendance increased in most of the eight seasons Feigenbaum was there, setting a single-season record in the process.
”We crushed it,” she said. “Part of that was having a very loyal fan base, and part of it was having someone like me at the helm, who understood the vision and how to execute that with a great staff.”
The Flyers averaged 16,541 fans per home game last season, their lowest full-season total since 1972-73.
Feigenbaum didn’t have the number of Philadelphia Flyers season tickets that have been sold for the 2022-23 season, but it is expected to be much lower than last year. The Flyers made few off-season moves, and they are counting heavily on Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis and Kevin Hayes to bounce back from injuries.
While Feigenbaum will be involved in other Wells Fargo Center events, most of her job will revolve around the Flyers.
“I’m really excited to take the fan experience to the next level,” she said. “Innovation is going to be really key, too, as we explore several technology tools. All these little things that will take us into a new era of fan experience.”
Nothing, of course, would improve that experience more than a successful season.