CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - From the outside to the inside, fans in the seats to watch the Hornets at the Spectrum Center for the first time in a year.
“It feels good just to see people out in public and getting out,” one fan said.
“Get back to some normalcy,” said another.
Five-hundred frontline workers from Novant Health were invited to Thursday’s game.
“They so deserve it. They’re so deserving; I mean, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days,” said Dr. Jerome Williams Jr., senior vice president of engagement with of Novant Health.
There were protocols--mask wearing, socially distanced seating, and a health screening through the Hornets app--but what a difference a year makes.
It was this game, the Jazz and Thunder, where a player tested positive for COVID-19.
The NBA suspended the season until a reboot in Orlando, Florida over the summer without fans. So to be here 12 months later:
“To walk down the street and come in the Spectrum Center and feel the energy and see the workers working, it’s just fantastic,” said Dr. Yvette Rudisel with Novant Health.
While fans were away, the Spectrum Center turned into a mass vaccination clinic. A slam-dunk in the goal of beating COVID-19. Thursday, the first score in a long journey to the end of the tunnel.
“Now it’s time to get back on the court and have our fans come enjoy the games…We hope to gradually increase capacity to be able to host more of our fans going forward.”