I have seasons in the "nose bleeds" and I can tell you the seats are just starting to fill compared to Oct-Nov. Devs last week, plenty of empty seats (like being in Newark). Isles this week, seats were filled. And that's upper and lower level, and I'm including seats that are held by STHs.
There are two reasons, with one being the economy. People are losing their jobs, or worried they are going to lose their job. But the Phillies took away some disposable income, too. Many Philly fans bought playoff and World Series tickets, then went out and bought souvenirs aplenty. They figured they'd watch the Flyers on TV for now, and catch them in person later.
Let's face it, if you're a Philly sports fan and you like to go to two Flyers games a month, then you go and buy World Series tickets, you'd probably have to skip a few Flyers games to make up the difference.
I hadn't seen that post before you quoted it, but it makes perfect sense. I have no clue why they decided to start games at 7. I know how you feel about working in Princeton and having to drive down here. The Jersey game I went to up North was perfect example. I had to leave work by 4, in order to have enough time to stop at home, pick my friends up, fly like a bat out of hell up the turnpike, go through the hell hole that is Newark, and get inside. I barely made it on time, but somehow I got there.
There was a survey/vote sent out to STH a few years ago and 7:00 PM start time was the OVERWHELMING choice as I remember. It wasn't even close. 7:30 was a very distant second and 8:00 last.