Fan attendance skyrockets for Charlotte Hornets due to team success and starpower, boosting economy
“ It’s such a big help to our hotels, to our restaurants, to our bars, it’s extraordinary.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte Hornets are the hottest ticket in town and more fans are flocking to the Spectrum Center this season to see LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges and company play.
It’s having a big ripple effect on uptown’s economy.
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There are two reasons for this increase in attendance:
- One, the Hornets are a high-flying, high-scoring team this season
- Two, the restriction on attendance during the start of the pandemic has been lifted.
“I’ve got to get inside this building, I’m pumped! Buzz buzz baby, buzz buzz!,” Charlotte Hornets Fan Will Hennessy said.
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Fans are excited and it’s showing in the average game attendance this year.
This season alone, the Hornets are averaging 16,795 fans per home game, and the Spectrum Center has seen 369,500 fans in total this season.
Last season during restrictions, the Hornets were averaging 2,297 fans per game and saw 13,787 fans the entire season.
Uptown businesses say the increase in attendance means an increase in revenue for their bottom line.
“It is electric. I mean absolutely like you’re you see LaMelo Ball throwing that ball down the court for Miles Bridges yamming it in,” Hennessy said.
The boom in attendance is benefiting local businesses like Rooster’s.
“It plays a major role we it’s a huge uptick in business every time the Hornets have a home game we have a full house. We have a big bar crowd our tables are all you know mostly reserved for every game so it’s been great for business,” Leigh Wylie, General Manager and Managing Partner of Rooster’s Wood-fired Kitchen, said.
“So every business along the light rail is going to be affected by Hornets game, people are gonna go drink or eat or something then hop on the train,” Hennessy said.
Charlotte Center City Partners says the Hornets solid season and the hospitality industry are really holding the Uptown economy together.
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“You can have a couple nights a week where you get this burst. It’s such a big help to our hotels, to our restaurants to our bars. It’s extraordinary. We’re very fortunate to have the Hornets in Charlotte,” said Michael Smith, President and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners.
Hennessy tells WBTV when the team does the good, it just encourages him to enjoy a night out on the town.
“If I’m like pumped up, LaMelo hits like a game winning three or something like that. I’m leaving this place, I’m running up to…...I’m running up to Rooster’s, I’m getting a drink. I’m going to Graham Street or wherever I’m getting a drink. I’m celebrating with the people I came with,” said Hennessy.
Fans and businesses are hoping the excitement continues to build at the Spectrum Center and the team makes it to the playoffs.
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