At the beginning of the 2020-2021 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers weren't permitted to have fans in attendance to watch games. For the first few months of the season, the Sixers had to play in a nearly empty arena with artificial crowd noise being blasted through the speakers.
That all changed in early March. For the first time this year, the City of Philadelphia allowed the Wells Fargo Center to open its doors to Sixers fans for the first time since March of 2020 when the season came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At first, just a few thousand fans were allowed to attend Sixers games. Over time, the fan capacity slowly increased. At this point, the Sixers plan to have at least 50-percent of the Wells Fargo Center filled up when the 2021 playoffs begin.
"We are thrilled by the city's decision to increase capacity to 50-percent in time for the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs," said Sixers President Chris Heck on Tuesday. "Our fans have created the most passionate and intense atmosphere in the NBA, and that gives us the type of home-court advantage our players can feed off in the postseason. We hope this is only the beginning and look forward to welcoming back even more fans throughout the playoffs. We also want to thank our partners at Comcast Spectator for being at the forefront of the best in-class health and safety standards so that our fans have the opportunity to fuel our playoff run.
This week, the Sixers will wrap up their final stretch of the regular season, beginning with a road matchup against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Moving forward, they'll have three more matchups, with one against the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic twice before getting a week's break as the play-in tournament commences.
Then, the Sixers will be back in action for the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. While their first-round opponent is unknown at the moment, the Sixers are guaranteed to open the postseason at home, where they will have even more fans than they did all season long.