AKRON, Ohio — The “Rubber Capital of the World” was bouncing and buzzing with excitement the night before the official LeBron James welcome home party.
A pristine and quiet InfoCision Stadium was locked up tightly Thursday night on the campus of the University of Akron.
But Friday, the 30,000-seat stadium will be filled to capacity with Cleveland Cavaliers fans.
Many King James devotees and Cavs supporters say they’ve been counting down the days since Number 23 announced he was returning. “I’ll be there,” said Reginald Moore, “You better believe it!”
The free tickets to the event went quickly, and there will be no reserve seating.
Although the gates open at 6:15 p.m. for the 7:15 p.m. event, city leaders are encouraging people to arrive early.
Security will be tight and a number of items are prohibited, including outside food and beverages, alcoholic beverages, laser pointers, weapons, pets, umbrellas, fireworks, offensive clothing and backpacks larger than 10 inches.
Officials say they want a safe and family-friendly event that will focus on LeBron’s positive impact on his hometown.
Cavs fans agree and hope this party is the first of many celebrations.
“I think it’s a great thing for the city,” said Kyle Hartman. “It’s gonna be a good time for sure.”
“Hopefully they’ll win a championship,” said Stephanie Ross.
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