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The Charlotte Hornets will allow up to 12,000 fans at Spectrum Center for post-season games, close to triple what had been capacity this season.
The Hornets announced that Saturday, after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper lifted most mass-gathering and social-distancing limits Friday.
Tickets for all potential Hornets home games in the NBA’s play-In tournament and the first round of the playoffs will go on sale Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at hornets.com or ticketmaster.com, on the Hornets App or via phone at 1-800-4NBA-TIX.
Fans will still be required to wear masks that fully cover the mouth and nose at all times inside Spectrum Center except when actively eating or drinking.
The Hornets originally planned to put tickets on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, but delayed that while deciding what arena capacity should be following Cooper’s announcement.
Seating capacity at Spectrum Center had been limited lately to about 4,500. The arena seats roughly 19,000 for basketball.
The Hornets had their last regular-season home game Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers. They could host a play-in tournament game Tuesday or Thursday, depending on their seeding. Additional home games would follow if they qualify for the playoffs.
The Hornets last reached the post-season in the spring of 2016.
Hosting indoor events have been more complicated during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding issues like ventilation and social-distancing.
The Hornets made a number of changes in Spectrum Center operations before opening home games to the public in mid-March, including touchless ticketing and concessions and protocols for entry and exit to avoid crowding.