Charlotte History Museum exhibit celebrates Hornets’ 35th anniversary

The Charlotte Museum of History is set to debut a new exhibit in honor of the Charlotte Hornets’ 35th anniversary, the museum announced Thursday.

The Hive at 35 will feature Hornets artifacts and memorabilia, starting with the team’s inaugural opening night as an expansion team in 1988. 

The exhibit opens to the public on Oct. 10.

Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield said the Hornets have become synonymous with basketball history and culture in North Carolina.

“We’re incredibly excited to team up with the Charlotte Museum of History as part of our 35th Anniversary celebration,” he said in a statement. “We’re proud of our part in that history, and we look forward to making more history in the years to come.”

The exhibit will include interactive spaces, a timeline of Carolinas basketball history and numerous artifacts.

These artifacts include original Hornets jerseys, game-worn shoes and other commemorative items from the team’s inaugural season and milestone events. 

There will be vintage Hornets giveaways such as Hugo Plushes, team holiday cards and a limited-edition Hornets cookbook.

“My mantra is ‘History shouldn’t be boring!’” Terri L. White, president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History, said in a statement.

White said the exhibition would bring something “new and entertaining” for regular guests while attracting new visitors. 

Fans can participate in the exhibit through the “Hive Drive” campaign. As part of the campaign, fans can donate $5 to have their names displayed on a digital list of supporters on the exhibit’s website.

Entry is part of regular museum admission. All Hornets season ticket holders will receive a single-day pass for free museum admission to see the exhibit.

Interesting facts about the Hornets

  • Rapper and record executive Master P played with the Hornets in 1998. His stay was short-lived, as he wasn’t signed after the preseason.
  • Mugsy Bogues is the all-time franchise assist leader with 5,557.
  • The team was initially going to be called the “Charlotte Spirit”, but a name-the-team contest established the “Hornets” as the winning choice. The name originates from British General Cornwallis, who allegedly described the city as “a hornet’s nest of rebellion” following the Battle of Charlotte in 1780.
  • In their inaugural season, the Hornets led the NBA in attendance multiple times throughout the year. The team sold out 364 consecutive games.
  • In the 1996 draft, the Hornets selected Kobe Bryant, but they immediately traded him to the Lakers.

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