The Charlotte Hornets will celebrate their return to regular-season NBA action when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on October 29 with a variety of activities and promotions. The 2014 Home Opener, presented by Lowe’s, includes a T-shirt giveaway, a commemorative ticket giveaway and a recognition of the inaugural 1988-89 Charlotte Hornets team. In addition, the Hornets for the first time will wear their teal-colored alternate uniforms. A limited number of tickets are still available and may be purchased online at hornets.com, in person at the Time Warner Cable Arena box office or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.
“Our organization is brimming with excitement in preparation for next week’s home opener,” said Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield. “Our first game as the Charlotte Hornets is one of the most anticipated events in the rich history of Charlotte sports and we look forward to sharing this special night with our fans.”
All fans in attendance will receive a tuxedo-themed T-shirt, courtesy of Lowe’s, along with an encased commemorative ticket. The tuxedo theme recalls the 1988-89 Hornets season opener, when a number of fans wore tuxedos to the game in celebration of the city’s first major professional sports team. In addition, all fans will receive a “Ridiculous Rag” rally towel and glowsticks to be used during the pregame player introductions and at halftime.
Doors will open early, at 5:30 p.m. (5 p.m. for season ticket holders), to ensure fans are able to be in their seats for a pair of pregame ceremonies. The first ceremony, at approximately 6:45 p.m., will commemorate the 1988-89 Hornets and will include players from that team and other special guests. The second, at approximately 7 p.m., will feature a video chronicling the history of the Hornets and the name’s return to Charlotte.
The national anthem will be performed by Grammy Award-winning singer Darius Rucker and the team will unveil a brand new intro video coproduced by the Hornets and award-winning creative group Troika. In-game elements for the season opener will include “Hugo’s Selfie,” a photo of the Time Warner Cable Arena crowd; new fan pride and corporate social responsibility videos; and new Hornets-themed graphics and audio prompts. The evening’s halftime performance will be a Michael Jackson impersonator, recalling the classic era of the late 1980s and 1990s.
The Time Warner Cable Arena seating bowl and concourse will also have entirely new branding. Some of the new look was in place for preseason games, but more pieces will be unveiled for the season opener. In addition, the Hornets Fan Shop will launch two new permanent kiosks on the 200 level, giving the arena 10 point-of-sale locations during games.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early due to expected traffic and construction around Time Warner Cable Arena. Fans will be able to enjoy entertainment both inside and outside the building, including musicians, interactive games and more.
In celebration of the return of the Hornets, CBS Radio will simulcast the game on WBAV (101.9 FM) in addition to the team’s flagship station of WFNZ. Coverage of opening night will include a special 60-minute postgame show live from Time Warner Cable Arena, hosted by WFNZ’s Colin Hoggard and featuring additional WFNZ personalities.