The 76ers are trying to bring fans back to the Wells Fargo Center.
They had up to 100 family members, staff members, and friends in attendance for Friday night’s 112-105 win over the Chicago Bulls. It was the second straight game the team was able to do that, and the guests had to stay in a suite. Their attendance became obvious when several of the attendees were shown on the arena’s jumbotron.
Now the hope is to soon have that number of fans increase.
The Sixers, Flyers, and Wells Fargo Center officials recently sent the city a proposal to have 5,000 fans in attendance for games beginning some time next month, according to sources. One of the sources said the Sixers would be satisfied with a limit of 2,500.
Before Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets, the Sixers had played in front of only media members and team officials.
“It’s gonna be fun,” star center Joel Embiid said when asked about the possibility of fans returning. “You know, hopefully soon as long as everybody stays healthy and the conditions are met for that to happen.”
The Sixers have played in front of fans during several road games this season, including the team’s recent Western Conference road trip. Fans provided solid atmospheres in games at the Phoenix Suns last Saturday and Utah Jazz on Monday.
“It almost felt like it was full at times,” Embiid said of the atmospheres in Phoenix and Utah. “The energy was great.”
Embiid said it would be “a different story in Philadelphia. They care, and they are going to come to games and they are going to boo you. They are going to show up for you. But at the end of the day, it’s all love.”
More than a dozen NBA teams are currently allowing fans in the stands. The Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and Orlando Magic have the largest allowable crowds at up to 4,000 per game.