New Orleans name change to Pelicans also has Charlotte buzzing
New Orleans, LA, United States (4E Sports) – The New Orleans franchise announced its name change from Hornets to Pelicans.
They will start using the name next season.
The NBA still has to approve it, but commissioner David Stern has said he wouldn’t object to any name team owner Tom Benson chose.
Benson said the name change was necessary because there was no connection between New Orleans and the name Hornets.
The brown pelican is Louisiana’s state bird and has become identified with efforts to restore Louisiana’s coast, which has been damaged extensively by the 2010 BP oil spill and erosion from Katrina and other storms.
Benson owns the rights to the name Pelicans, which was used by a former minor league baseball team that played in New Orleans for more than 70 years.
The team also unveiled five new logos using a new color scheme of blue, gold and red.
In anticipation of the New Orleans name change, a small campaign was started in Charlotte to bring back the Hornets name to that city’s NBA team.
“We are aware of the impending change regarding the team nickname in New Orleans,” said Charlotte Bobcats president and COO Fred Whitfield. “We are currently in contact with the NBA and conducting our own due diligence relative to this matter.”
Charlotte has hired Harris Interactive, a nationally prominent polling company, to survey current Bobcats fans and the Charlotte sports market to get their input on possibly changing the name back.