GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) — Basketball fans walked into Van Andel Arena on Thursday for the home opener between the Grand Rapids Gold and Motor City Cruise.

There was a good-sized crowd for the team’s first game under head coach Andre Miller. The Gold ultimately lost to Motor City Cruise 106-96.

Crews spent the morning preparing for the game after a concert was held at the arena Wednesday night. They laid down the hardwood court for the team’s first home game.

In June, the team, a part of the NBA G-League and associated with the Denver Nuggets, signed a five-year deal to make Van Andel its new home.

Team leaders say the arena gives them a lot of room to grow and enhance game presentation.

“I think fans look forward to that and just the new experience of being in an arena with a team that really cares about basketball and has a passion for it,” player Adonis Arms said. “There are going to be a lot of highlights, a lot of game-winning plays a lot of team plays and a lot of comradery on the court.”

The team will offer three deals on tickets this season.

You can buy one ticket and get another free on Tuesdays. On Thursdays, they will offer $2 beer and hot dogs until halftime. On Sundays, you can purchase four tickets and get a $20 concession voucher for $50.

“We are hoping to get some fans in there and expand our fan base. Now that we are downtown
We can pull from the downtown crowd, the college crowd, the family crowd and really give everyone a great show,” marketing and public relations coordinator Brittany Whitfield said.

From 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday, guests were able to go to Van Andel for a free throw competition.

Fans who made the shot were entered into a raffle to win two season tickets. The winner was announced halftime.

The first 2,000 fans got a free limited edition T-shirt and the first 1,000 fans got a free magnet schedule.