Not all that long ago, it took a team of gumshoe reporters and endless following up on right-to-know requests to figure out who received tickets to “the mayor’s box,” prime seats for events at Lincoln Financial Field, Citizen’s Bank Park, the Wells Fargo Center, the Mann and the Dell. The answer, at least in the John Street days, was a medley of power players; according to one report, just 72 of the 1,358 tickets handed out during his first term were given to charities, nonprofits and first responders.
The extent to which Mayor Michael Nutter will actually leave the legacy of transparency on which he based much of his original campaign is debatable, but he has certainly made overtures since he took office, and the release of the names and data of ticket-receivers has been one of them. The latest report has just been released. Here are a few facts that are interesting, or useful, or both—or neither, but that jumped out at us all the same:
• Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown took the most tickets, 26, of anyone in city government, let alone council. She was followed by Bill Greenlee (20, including four requested for New Kids on the Block and four more for Michael Buble), Mark Squilla (8), Maria Quinones-Sanchez (6), and David Oh (5). Numbers include tickets that went to councilpersons’ staffers.
• Nutter's daughter, Olivia, got 7 tickets to see Maroon 5. She received 0 tickets for Justin Bieber. We're proud of you, Olivia.
• It seems everyone across the political spectrum loves Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake. That includes State Rep. William Adolph (R-16), the chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Were those tickets what prevented us from having no schools at all this year?
• The Salvation Army garnered the most tickets of any nonprofit at 177, including 81 tickets for Disney on Ice and 49 for the Ringling Bros. circus. Just 18 of the tickets were given after the June 5 building collapse.
• Despite chilly relations between Nutter and firefighters, Ladder 27 still got 18 tickets to see the Phillies. Plus a contract, but that came later.
• State Sen. Vince Hughes received the most tickets of any state politico: 8, for the Flyers.
• Some guy named Bill Battista received 10 tickets, more than any other non-employee/nonprofit/elected official. He’s not a ward leader or committee person. Sources have no idea who he is.
Of course, there’s always residual questions with these ticket releases, like who did Reynolds Brown give all those tickets to? The city doesn’t release that information. When asked how to figure out who the holders give their tickets to, mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said, “That’s their world.”
View the full report below: