Flashy Sixers show beckons fans

Posted: January 06, 2012

ADAM ARON has a two-page, single-spaced list of ideas and improvements for game presentation. The Sixers CEO has made a commitment to improving the experience at home games, and tonight is the debut.

"A basketball game is 48 minutes long. People are in the building for 3 hours. So there's another 2-hours plus where someone attending the game will interact with the Philadelphia 76ers in a metaphysical sense," Aron said in a Philadelphia SportsWeek article that hits newsstands tomorrow. "And it seemed to us that we can make a lot of upgrades and enhancements during those 2 hours and 10 minutes, in addition to fielding a winning basketball team."

The Sixers said the advance sale for tonight's home opener at the Wells Fargo Center against Detroit is 16,500. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. tipoff.

Here are some of the enhancements fans will see tonight and throughout the season:

* Appearances by former Sixers Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones and Earl Cureton. They will be honored before tonight's game along with World B. Free.

* "American Idol" Season 5 finalist Ayla Brown will perform the national anthem, accompanied by a recording of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She also will perform at halftime.

* Rally towels and magnetic schedules will be distributed to fans at tonight's game.

* New lighting from Peggy Eisenhauer and Jules Fisher, light designers who've worked on more than 150 Broadway productions and earned 27 Tony nominations. They've helped light concerts for the Rolling Stones, Kiss, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Simon and Garfunkel and Barbra Streisand.

* Revamped video presentations before the game and between quarters, paying homage to the Sixers' storied past. "Sixers Legends Videos" of Erving, Malone and Jones also will be shown during the home opener. The series will be featured throughout the season and will feature other Sixers greats such as Wilt Chamberlain, Charles Barkley and Doug Collins.

* The dance team has been increased from 12 to 20 members and renamed the "Dream Team," which was the name 2 decades ago. They will perform every game.

* Tom Lamaine, who was the Sixers' television broadcaster in the 1970s, is the new public address announcer.

* The dunk team has been renamed "The Flight Squad," and has been increased from four dunkers to nine.

* If the Sixers win, there's a "special win celebration," as well as a walkoff interview with the star of the game on the video screen.

* The ever-popular Dollar Dog Night.

* Fans in the lower seats of the lower bowl will walk on red carpets and across velvet ropes.

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