Today, the National Basketball Association released it’s schedule for all 30 teams, including the Charlotte Hornets, and the team will begin their 2016-17 campaign on Wednesday, October 26th in Milwaukee against the Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center with an 8:00 p.m. start time. The Hornets will then head to Miami for a rematch of last season’s first-round playoff matchup against the Miami Heat on October 28th, before coming back to Charlotte for the home opener at the Spectrum Center against the Boston Celtics on October 29th at 7:00 p.m.
Some of the marquee games on the Hornets schedule this season include a pair of visits by LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who will visit Charlotte twice this season on December 31st(7:00 p.m.) and again on March 24th(7:00 p.m.). Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and the rest of the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors will make its lone visit of the season to Charlotte on January 25th; Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder will be at “The Hive” for a Wednesday night tilt on January 4th, not to mention Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, and the new-look Chicago Bulls will have two visits to Buzz City this year on December 23rd and March 13th.
Of the 82 games that the Hornets have on this year’s schedule, 19 of the 41 home dates on the schedule will fall on the weekend(8 Friday, 10 Saturday, and 1 Sunday game), meaning that fans will have plenty of opportunities to see the Hornets at “The Hive” on a weekend this season. Charlotte put together an impressive home-court advantage during the regular season last year, finishing with a 30-11 mark at “The Hive”, and averaging 17,845 fans per game during the 2015-16 campaign, which was the highest attendance mark since the NBA returned to Charlotte in the 2004-05 campaign, while the 30 home wins during the 2015-16 season by the Hornets were good for third-best in the Eastern Conference and marked the fifth time in Hornets history that the team had 30-or-more wins on their home floor(Charlotte accomplished the feat during the 1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-2000, and 2009-10 seasons).
Another key part of this year’s schedule to take note is that the longest homestand of the year will come from January 18th-January 25th, while the Hornets longest road trip of the year will start on February 23rd and last until March 4th, which will include the Hornets first ever trip to the brand new Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on February 25th to face the Sacramento Kings.
Charlotte will play 16 back-to-back games this season, which is the same from last season, highlighted by 6 away-home games, and a single set of four games in five nights from November 25th through the 29th.
HORNETS TO GAIN NATIONAL EXPOSURE THIS SEASON
Coming off a 48-win season, which was good enough for the fifth-most win total in the 27-year history of the Charlotte franchise and also good for third-most in the Eastern Conference, the Hornets were rewarded with 9 national television appearances this season, with ESPN picking up two of the Hornets home games this season(November 23rd vs. San Antonio and January 25th vs. Golden State), while the March 6th home game against the Indiana Pacers will be carried by TNT. NBA TV will carry 6 Hornets games this season, including road match-ups against Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks(November 25th), a visit to Chicago to take on the Bulls(January 2nd), and a L.A. Double-dip with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Clippers(February 26th) and the Lakers on February 28th.
The television schedule for Hornets games on FOX Sports Southeast will be released at a later date, and all 82 of the Hornets regular-season games can be heard locally on flagship station WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM The Fan and throughout the Carolinas on the Hornets Radio Network, and all of the Hornets Radio Network broadcasts are also available via the Hornets mobile app.