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The Charlotte Hornets are returning to the Dean Smith Center

Thought you’d have to wait until Late Night for some basketball? Think again.

North Carolina Tar Heels Championship Welcome Rally Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Some exciting news got announced yesterday for Tar Heels and Hornets fans: the Charlotte Hornets will host their training camp, as well as a preseason game against the Boston Celtics this September at the Dean Smith Center. This will be the first time that the Hornets made their way to Chapel Hill since 2006, and will be the first time that they will be arriving under the ownership of basketball legend and UNC alumni Michael Jordan.

The Charlotte Hornets released a brief statement in regards to their plans on the Hornets’ website:

“We are excited to bring Hornets basketball back to the Smith Center for the first time in more than a decade,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “We look forward to opening the preseason portion of our 30th Anniversary season with the great basketball fans in the Triangle.”

If you plan to buy tickets for the preseason game against the Celtics, they will go on sale this Thursday at Hornets.com, or you can also purchase tickets via UNC’s website. The tickets will tart at $17.50, and students will receive a 40% discount off of certain price/seating levels.

The return of the Charlotte Hornets to the Dean Smith Center should be great for both the team as well as those who live in the Triangle area. Spectrum Arena is roughly two and a half hours from Chapel Hill, and that’s not including the non-stop construction on I-85 that occasionally makes driving to the Queen City a bit tedious. Factor this with how much NBA basketball takes place during the school year (and during UNC’s season), and it is extremely difficult for UNC students to attend Hornets games. It’s awesome that the NBA allows teams to perform at different arenas during the preseason, as it is great fan service, and also can provide a different atmosphere for the players themselves (the Dean Dome can get LOUD, as many of you know).

Be sure to check out what seats are available Thursday, as it should be a really fun experience. I mean, we need something to hold us over until UNC’s season starts, right?