OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Downtown Oakland was alive with excitement Friday night as Warriors star Stephen Curry hosted a party at the Fox Theater.
And the prior confusion over free tickets, how many, and how to get them, evaporated as everyone who waited in line got in.
Fans cheered when Curry was introduced onstage at about 7:30 pm. He hosted the event as a way to celebrate his ten-year anniversary with the team, and to thank Oakland as the team prepares to move to San Francisco next year.
"I'm not from Oakland, I'm from North Carolina," Curry told the crowd, "but the energy I feel here in this building is what I felt when I got off the plane that first time."
He went on to reflect on his decade in the Bay Area.
"The love has grown and grown over the last ten years, the way you embraced myself, the team, my family, this is home for us," he said, to loud applause.
After ticket disarray this week, the event itself was refreshingly drama-free. As many as 700 people waited for hours in a line that stretched from the theatre around the block down 19th Street.
Their free tickets stated: "Does not guarantee entry.”
So fans wondered if it might be a toss-up. "If I'm turned away I have to work tonight, so I'll just go straight to work," Ronnel Fernandez of Vallejo told KTVU. "I mean it's free, so I appreciate it, Curry's doing it for the town, trying to get as many people here as possible."
In the end, everyone holding a ticket got in, with plenty of space for all.
The Fox Theatre has a capacity of 2,800, but event sponsor Under Armour limited the audience to less than half that, in the interests of keeping it manageable and family-oriented.
The launch of the new Curry 6 shoe is aimed primarily at young people, and nearly a dozen schools had teams invited to the party, including Serra High School in San Mateo. Before show time, Curry met with the students and posed for pictures.
"It just says that he's so much bigger than basketball, that he cares about the community," said Justin Ferdinand, athletic director at Serra. "He really is about bringing everyone together and be a part of it, it shows who he is as an individual."
The girl’s basketball team at Notre Dame High School in Belmont had the surprise revealed to them at practice.
"At the end some Under Armour reps came out and told us what we were doing," said Notre Dame senior Mahek Pombra. “So we were really excited for the rest of the day."
The teenage guests were also asked their shoe sizes, and anticipating possible Curry 6 kicks in their future.
"We had practice before this and I'm not going to lie," said Notre Dame senior Vanessa Pan. “It was hard to focus knowing we were going to this big event after, but we were super pumped the whole day."
Before a slate of local rappers performed, Curry expressed genuine affection for his adopted home.
"This is a celebration of the town, how special it is, how special the people are, and what we can offer the world," he said. "So let's continue to build inspiration, grow and celebrate and be proud of what we accomplished together because what we do on the court is represent you guys."