New Orleans first gained a professional team in 1947, when professional basketball was first introduced to the country. The team, the Hurricanes, only had one season of eight games. The city gained another ABA team, the Buccaneers, but for only three years. It wasn't until 1974 for New Orleans to gain a NBA team, the Jazz. The Jazz had superstar Pete Maravich, but the team's home to New Orleans was short-lived. In 1979, the Jazz relocated to Utah.
Twenty years later, the Hornet's came to New Orleans in 2002. The new arena next to the Caesars Superdome was a helpful draw for the team. Since then, NBA fans have remained in New Orleans and continue to cheer on the home team. The team was renamed the Pelicans for the 2013-2014 season following a new team owner, the late Tom Benson. Benson wanted the team to have a name that reflected something more local.
The Pelicans continue to bring the heat. In 2019, the team gained college superstar Zion Williamson. The action on the court is always exciting and the halftime entertainment is possibly the best in the league. Skilled gymnasts, shooting contests, team cheers lead by led by mascot, Pierre T. Pelican and roving brass bands are just a few of the fun happenings fans enjoy. And, if you’re lucky and your hands are quick, you might just catch a Pelicans T-shirt that’s either shot into the stands. Come out and cheer for the home team. There are single-game tickets for sale as well as family and party packages. Go to www.nba.com/pelicans for more. Let's dance.
In New Orleans, fan fun begins well before tip-off and continues beyond the final shot clock. If you're looking for the perfect way to kick-off or close out any Pelicans home game in the CBD, check out our Game Day Itinerary. Everything from where to eat, have late-night drinks and the best tailgating hideouts are found here.