A detailed view of the New Orleans Pelicans primary logo at the New Orleans Arena. The New Orleans Hornets are rebranding to the Pelicans effective in the 2013-2014 NBA season. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson
announced Thursday that the name of the team will change to the New Orleans
Pelicans, beginning in the 2013-14 season.
"When we purchased the basketball team, it was a priority to change the name
to reflect our culture, our community and our resolve. The Pelican does that,"
said Benson. "Our region has been hard hit in recent years and the
one thing that stands out is the resiliency and determination to comeback, to
fight and overcome. The Pelican symbolizes that. The synergy of this name,
this bird and the future of our state and region are intertwined and in three,
five, ten years from now, it will be not only be a name of a sports franchise
but it will also be the face of the continued recovery of our region. We will
promote healthy habitats, not only for our youth but for our community, our
coast and our wildlife. The Pelican name will do that. It is more than a name.
It represents our way of life."
The name was changed to the Pelicans largely due to its connection with the
state of Louisiana. It has been the state bird for over a century and can be
found on both the state's flag and seal. The team's colors will be blue, red,
The team's primary color, blue, is taken from Louisiana's state flag. The
Pelicans and Saints will share the color gold, uniting the organizations,
while celebrating the spirited life of New Orleans and its many celebrations
(gold is also a commonly found color on the "crown" of the pelican). Red
represents fraternity and is indicative of the blood provision of the mother
pelican and the vibrant color underneath the pelican's throat. All three
colors are found on the City of New Orleans flag.
The team kept the Hornets nickname when it relocated from Charlotte for the
start of the 2002-03 season. New Orleans previously hosted the Jazz from
1974-79 until the franchise left for Salt Lake City and kept the moniker.
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