Sixers fans haven't entered the Wells Fargo Center since last March. On the infamous night of the NBA shutting the 2019-2020 season down was the last time the 76ers performed in South Philly in front of fans.
In two weeks, that will change. On Tuesday, the city of Philadelphia eased its restrictions. With the news, the Wells Fargo Center happily announced that they would welcome Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers fans back in the building as early as Sunday.
For the Sixers, they don't have a home game scheduled until after the All-Star break. But when the March 14th matchup against the San Antonio Spurs comes around, the Sixers will be happy to host a little over 3,000 fans for the first time this year.
"We are thrilled to finally welcome home the best fans in the world," said 76ers team President Chris Heck. "Our team feeds off of our fans' incredible energy, so it's no coincidence the 76ers have been the best home team in the NBA over the last several years. Over the past 12 months, we've learned many new ways to stay connected with our fans, but there's no replacing their physical presence. We are all looking forward to the return of 76ers fans to the building as we continue our quest toward an NBA title."
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers has yet to see any Sixers fans in person as it's his first season coaching the team. However, the former Los Angeles Clippers coach is well-aware of the advantage that Philly fans create for the Sixers, and he looks forward to experiencing it all soon.
“I’m happy,” Rivers said on Monday. “We want to see our fans here, and we have proven here in Philadelphia that is a home court. Our fans are phenomenal, and we need them here. It’d be awesome in the second half of the season if we could have fans. I think it would really boost us.”
"I think everybody’s accustomed to having the fans there just interacting with them and hearing the noise," said Sixers guard Shake Milton. "I think when they come back, it’ll be fun. It’ll turn the energy up another notch, and Philly fans are already a step above most NBA teams, so I think it’s just gonna help us even more.”
Last season, the Sixers had the best home record in the NBA, and the players always attributed that to having the rowdy fans on their side. Although fans have only been around in spirit this season, the 76ers possess the best home record in the league once again. And with them coming back, Sixers forward Mike Scott believes the team will only get better when playing in South Philly.
“It’ll be great,” Scott said. “How we play at home, especially with fans -- that would be great to at least see some people in here and have them riled up and cursing and doing all that stuff that I like. I can’t wait for that.”
I'm sure the fans can't wait as well.