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Hornets boost capacity at Spectrum Center to 60%

The team says this means about 12,000 fans can take in any upcoming basketball games, but masks are still a must

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Hornets say more fans can be let into the Spectrum Center for any upcoming games.

In an announcement Saturday, the team says they've boosted the capacity limits from 25% up to 60%, meaning about 12,000 fans can get inside to see the Hornets play hoops. The announcement comes a day after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the lifting of more COVID-19 restrictions statewide, which included some more leeway for indoor venues like the Spectrum Center. WHile more fans will be allowed in, they will still need to wear masks at all times except when they're actively eating or drinking.

Tickets for all potential home games in the NBA's new State Farm Play-In tournament and the first round of the NBA Playoffs will go on sale Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. They can be bought on the team's website, via Ticketmaster, via the Charlotte Hornets app, or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.

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“We’re looking forward to welcoming more fans back at Spectrum Center for our potential play-in and playoff games,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “We’ve seen the difference our fans have made since returning to Spectrum Center earlier this season, and we know that their passion and excitement will be a big advantage as we head into the postseason. Most importantly, it is great to see our community continue to make its way through this pandemic and this is another step forward for all of us. We thank Governor Cooper and his staff for their leadership during the pandemic and allowing us the opportunity to increase our capacity.”

The Hornets will be playing in the new play-in tournament, which features teams ranked 7th through 10th place in each conference. The tournament runs from May 18-21, between the conclusion of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. 

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In the new format, the seventh-place team will host the eighth-place team, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed In the playoffs. In addition, the ninth-place team will host the 10th-place team, with the winner moving on to visit the loser of the first game for a matchup in which the winning team will earn the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.

The Hornets are currently 8th place in the Eastern Conference standings, with two games remaining in the regular season: Saturday at the New York Knicks and Sunday at the Washington Wizards. Both games tip-off at 1 p.m.

Off the Clock with Carboni is a weekly, in-depth, inside look at Charlotte sports, including the Carolina PanthersCharlotte Hornets, and more, hosted by WCNC Sports Director Nick Carboni.
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