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Charlotte Hornets fan group pushes for supporters' section to create buzz on game days

The Crown Club would like to see a section inside Spectrum Center, similar to what has been seen at Bank of America Stadium during Charlotte FC matches.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte Hornets fan group is aiming to change the gameday experience inside Spectrum Center.

The Crown Club, a group of 500-plus members that is not officially affiliated with the Charlotte Hornets, is pushing for a supporters section at home games.

Evan Kent, one of the co-founders of the group, said it would be similar to what has been seen in the stands at Charlotte FC matches.

"We want to enhance our experience,” he said, “and I think that's what sports fans in Charlotte want across the board."

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Kent said he would estimate he’s been to hundreds of Hornets games over the past decade, and the fan base has continued to grow. The Crown Club has even gathered enough support to travel to a couple of away games to make its presence known to the Hornets’ opposition.

When supporters are at home games though, Kent said enthusiasts are usually spread out around Spectrum Center.

"Four people spread around in the arena feels a lot more powerful when it's together in an area,” Kent added.

That’s why Kent believes now is the time for the Crown Club to take its game-day hype to the next level by claiming a section, or at least a few rows, in the arena.

"If it's just 40 or 50 people sitting in one section, we know from case studies that we've done ourselves, where like you can change the entire feel of an arena,” Kent said.

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Charlotte FC’s supporters' section emerged as the team made its debut, with such sections being a popular part of the Major League Soccer culture.

The section is made up of a Supporters Council of several Charlotte FC supporters groups, with expectations of chants and being the loudest and proudest fans in the stadium on match days. 

Kent said a supporters section at Hornets games would be similar.

"There are expectations with coming into that space,” Kent said.

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Kent said the idea of a supporters section is not completely foreign to the NBA or to Charlotte. He added that the Charlotte Bobcats fans used to have a supporters section at one point.

He said he realizes there may be logistical hurdles to making the idea become a reality, with some season ticket holders wanting to hang onto seats in a particular section.

Beyond that, Kent said The Crown Club is looking to find a sponsor to help alleviate costs for supporters to be able to sit all in the same section and is hoping to get the Hornets on board.

Kent said the supporters' section would be a way to rally fans together behind their home team and create a buzz together.

“We’re a transplant town,” Kent said, “and I think we need something to fight back and to try and maintain a home-court advantage.”

Contact Kendall Morris at kmorris2@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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