May 12, 2023 – The Charlotte Hornets today announced that the organization will commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the inaugural 1988-89 Hornets season during the 2023-24 NBA campaign.
The season-long celebration of the past, present and future of Charlotte basketball will include a series of 35thAnniversary games that will feature a new Classic Edition uniform, themed in-arena programming and promotional items, and appearances by former Hornets players.
“After having so much fun with our 30th Anniversary celebration five years ago, we’re excited to commemorate our 35thAnniversary next season,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “We’re especially looking forward to our collaboration with the Charlotte Museum of History to help tell the story of our franchise over the last 35 years.”
In one of the highlights of the 35th Anniversary, the Hornets and the Charlotte Museum of History are collaborating to create a new exhibit about the team’s history. The “Hive at 35” exhibit will include interactive spaces, a timeline of Carolinas basketball history and plenty of artifacts, from the original teal-and-purple Hornets jerseys and game-worn shoes to commemorative items from the team’s inaugural season and other milestone events. The exhibit will open to the public on October 10 and will be included as part of regular museum admission. All Hornets Hive Society Members will receive a single-day pass for free museum admission to see the exhibit.
As part of the announcement, the Hornets unveiled a 35th Anniversary logo. Using the familiar cell shape, the logo includes the current Hornets logo over pinstripes with the words “35 Years” at the top and the years “1988” and “2023” at the bottom.
The 35th Anniversary celebration will also include themed content on hornets.com and the Hornets App, as well as themed merchandise available for sale at the Hornets Fan Shop, throughout the season.
Playing their inaugural game on November 4, 1988, the Hornets were the first major professional sports franchise in the Carolinas. The team led the NBA in attendance during its inaugural season in 1988-89 and went on to do so seven straight times from 1990-91 to 1996-97, recording 364 consecutive sellouts from December 23, 1988, through November 21, 1997.