A little over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the NBA along with the rest of the United States of America, the country is slowly but surely getting back to normal. In Philadelphia, the sports teams have been granted permission to start allowing some fans to enter arenas and stadiums so they can enjoy live sports again.

At the beginning of the year, the Philadelphia 76ers played their games at the Wells Fargo Center with nothing but team personnel, local media, and arena employees spectating the game.

However, last month, the state of Pennsylvania eased its restrictions, and the city of Philly matched it, which allowed a little over 3,000 Sixers fans to enter the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since early March of last season.

Now, the Sixers are able to move onto their next phase of getting everything back to normal as they will allow a limited number of fans to sit in courtside seats on Saturday night as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey, an undisclosed amount of fans will be permitted to take a rapid, on-site COVID-19 test before entering the Wells Fargo Center if they are sitting near courtside. 

Typically, the arena only requires temperature checks and filled-out questionnaires before entering, but the Sixers and the NBA will have to ensure the closest fans are not COVID positive to be safe before they sit near the players.

After fans register a negative test, they will be given a wristband before entering the arena through a separate designated entrance. Attending a Sixers game still isn't the same these days, but at least everything is improving and moving in the right direction as the country works to get things back to normal.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_ & Instagram: @JGrassoNBA.