Hornets will welcome fans back to Spectrum Center on March 13

By CLTure News

March 2, 2021

As anticipated, the Charlotte Hornets will welcome back fans at a limited capacity allowing up to 3,000 at Spectrum Center for home games starting on March 13 vs. the Toronto Raptors. 

Prior to reopening to the general public, the Hornets will also host 500 frontline healthcare workers from Novant Health vs. the Detroit Pistons on March 11. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Hornets fans back to Spectrum Center, even though it will be in a limited capacity,” said Hornets President and Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield in a press release. “The energy, excitement and passion that our fans bring every night to Spectrum Center has been missed by our players, coaches and staff, and we cannot wait to have them back in the Hive. This is a great first step for not only our fans, but our city and our entire community.

Photo: Alex Cason

On February 24, Governor Roy Cooper eased restrictions to allow outdoor sports venues to allow 30% capacity with indoor facilities that hold 5,000 or more people 15% capacity.

The Hornets worked closely with the state, county, city officials, and local health agencies to develop a detailed reopening plan prioritizing the health of fans entering the arena.

Here are some of the new health and safety protocols from the press release:

Face Masks Required: All fans over the age of 2 are required to wear a face mask that completely covers their nose and mouth at all times while inside Spectrum Center. The only exception is when fans are actively eating or drinking. Neck gaiters, bandanas or masks with valves or vents are not permitted. 

Socially Distanced Seating: Tickets will be sold in pods of 1-4 seats throughout Spectrum Center. Please note that there is a limited amount of one and three-seat pods. Each pod will have a six-foot radius surrounding it to maintain proper social distance. Seats not available for use will be clearly marked. Fans are to remain in their pod only and not relocate to other seats. Additionally, guests must maintain six feet of social distance at all times within Spectrum Center, including standing in lines at entrances or concession stands, using elevators or escalators, and walking on the concourse.

Photo taken prior to pandemic. Photo: Alex Cason

Mobile Ticketing: In an effort to eliminate shared touch points, all tickets this season will be mobile. Access to tickets for Hornets games will be available by downloading the Hornets App. Fans who purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.com or the Ticketmaster App will also be able to access mobile tickets through the Ticketmaster App. The Spectrum Center Box Office will be closed. Fans will purchase their tickets online or by phone.

Contactless Ordering/Payment: Spectrum Center has created a 100% cashless experience at all concession stands and retail locations in an effort to eliminate the numerous shared touch points through cash transactions. The Hornets App has been expanded to allow guests to order and pay for concessions and retail items on mobile devices while utilizing express pick up.

Guest Health Screen: Before entering Spectrum Center, all guests and staff must complete a COVID-19 health screen, which will be available through the Hornets App. Passing the health screen questionnaire is a required for entry.

Concessions: A new, limited menu has been developed, featuring grab-and-go options. Spectrum Center food offerings will be individually wrapped and packaged, as will condiments, utensils, napkins and straws. Fans may only consume food at their seats or at designated locations on the concourses.

Entry & Exit Procedures: To ensure the safety of fans, Spectrum Center will implement a timed entry system and a staggered egress at the end of each game. There will be designated entry times and zones for fans in an effort to remain socially distanced and reduce congestion. Prior to each game, ticket holders will receive an email communication with entry times and zones. At the conclusion of each game, fans will be directed to specific doors and stairwells based on their seat locations.

Touchless Security: Spectrum Center has updated its security protocols at all entrances to include magnetometers and X-ray machines for touch-free bag checks. In an effort to reduce wait times upon entering the arena, it is recommended that guests do not bring bags to the games. The only bags allowed in Spectrum Center are tote bags, diaper bags and purses, smaller than 14”X14”X6”. 

Single-game tickets for the remainder of the 2020-21 season will go on sale to the public on Friday, March 5, at 10 a.m. Check out the full 2020-21 schedule

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