What's In Store

Charlotte Hornets hope Cam Newton will help sell out uptown arena

Courtesy of the Charlotte Hornets
Courtesy of the Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are hoping Cam Newton will help sell out Spectrum Center March 18.

For the first time, the team will be giving away bobble heads of the Carolina Panthers quarterback to the first 15,000 fans in attendance at the home game against the Washington Wizards, the Hornets said Monday. The figurines are of Newton in his signature Superman pose wearing a black Buzz City jersey.

Hornets President and Chief Operating Officer Fred Whitfield said the giveaway is an effort to drive attendance and keep fan momentum going as the team makes a push for the playoffs.

Past fan giveaways have turned into sellout nights, Whitfield noted. Starting lineup figurines of Nic Batum and Kemba Walker were given out on Dec. 23 and Feb. 11, respectively – and both nights were sold out, Whitfield noted.

“(Newton) has long supported our Hornets team and come out to games from time to time, worn our jerseys at games. Honestly, he’s just been a great fan and supporter of ours,” Whitfield said.

“We hope that our fans will create a home court advantage for our team and energize our team.”

The Hornets’ home game Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers was the seventh sell-out game at Spectrum Center, the team said. Last season, the Hornets sold out 13 games, so the hope is to exceed that this year, Whitfield said.

Whitfield said it’s unclear whether Newton will come to the March 18 game: “He’s got such a busy schedule ... but we are hopeful that he will be in attendance.”

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta