It was an almost normal fan experience at the New Orleans Pelicans‘ game on Wednesday night.
Sure, you still have to mask up. And there is still social distancing. But with 2700 fans in attendance, it felt a little more “normal” than the past few games.
For the first time, we sat directly behind the Pelicans bench, 17 rows up. It was interesting watching the game from that angle. As I’ve mentioned before, our regular seats are in the corner behind the bench, along the tunnel where the players run out. It is really a huge difference being just two sections over.
Watching the activity on the bench was almost as enjoyable as the play on the court.
From Nicolo Melli and Eric Bledsoe taking time to coach up rookie Kira Lewis, Jr after his 3rd foul to JJ Redick spending quality time with Nickeil Alexander-Walker during a time out, it’s clear this is a team in the truest sense of the fashion.
After he got fouled and hit the ground, he made a unique effort to get up from the floor. And it had not only his teammates, but the fans in the stands and watching on TV cracking up.
Then there was this little celebration after Zion Williamson dropped an amazing dunk on the Pistons
New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson is even better in person
Speaking of Zion, watching him play in person is a treat. This is a special player and his addition to the All Star team this year is well deserved.
Overall, with 2700 fans in the arena, there was definitely more energy in the stands with fans. And that energy, at least to me, stood out during the game as the team fell behind early but clawed their way back to a victory.
Plus, I can report that the beer is back. It’s actually been back for a few games but it was nice to be able to sip on a cold one while watching the team eek out this victory.
It seems as if the 2700 fans will be allowed for a while, and the hope is to allow more as time progresses. As someone who has been in those stands for years, it was nice to hear the roar of the crowd for the good plays, the groans for the bad and the inevitable jeering at the refs and certain opposing players who the Pels fans just dislike overall.
I’m looking forward to the next game I have tickets for, and hope the noise level is even louder.