New Orleans Pelicans bring professional basketball to Birmingham

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New Orleans Pelicans
Photo via New Orleans Pelicans and Layne Murdoch Jr.

Winter brings a lot of things to Birmingham, but for the first time ever, an NBA team will bring Professional Basketball to the Magic City! Keep reading for all the details. 

Birmingham, Meet the New Orleans Pelicans

Legacy Arena at The BJCC exterior rendering
Designers have envisioned a whole new look for Legacy Arena at The BJCC. Rendering courtesy of Populous.

The New Orleans Pelicans are bringing their NBA G League basketball team to Birmingham beginning in the 2021-2022 season. The team will call Legacy Arena home, while the arena’s $123 million renovation project is set to be completed by December 2021

“The city of Birmingham, specifically their local leadership, was very proactive in the search process. They made it very clear early on that they wanted to be the home of our NBA G League franchise. The time, money and effort they have spent has been wonderful. This is going to be a top-notch facility that rivals some NBA arenas.”

David Lane, General Manager of the Birmingham NBA G League team.
New Orleans Pelicans
Gayle Benson and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. Photo via New Orleans Pelicans and Layne Murdoch Jr.

Why is this a big deal?

The NBA G League is a big deal as it brings another professional level sport to the Greater Birmingham area. The amount of support we give our local teams are one of the main reasons the Pelicans chose Birmingham. When asked what attracted the organization to Birmingham, David Lane had this to say in an interview: 

“Birmingham as a whole is a sports city. It has a proven track record of supporting local teams. Looking at television markets, Birmingham is the highest in the region for NBA games. The NBA G League has been looking to move a team here for a long, long time.”

What is the NBA G League?

New Orleans Pelicans
Dennis Lauscha (left) and Gayle Benson (right). Photo via New Orleans Pelicans and Layne Murdoch Jr.

The NBA G League is an evolution of the NBA Development League (D-League). It was renamed the NBA G League after the NBA signed a multi-year partnership with Gatorade. This league is designed as an NBA training ground – a place where teams can develop talent and send players to prepare for the NBA.

According to the NBA G League website, 45 percent of players on “start of season” NBA rosters have played in the NBA G League. Some notable alumni from the NBA G League are Fred VanVleet, Clint Capela and Khris Middleton. 

When will we know more?

The wait is almost over! The Birmingham NBA G League team aims to reveal their team identity at the end of July. 

Individuals or groups who are looking to get the best seats in Legacy Arena for their inaugural season can do so today by placing a $100 deposit. To lock in your season tickets, call their office at (205)-719-0850 or go to https://www.nba.com/pelicans/birmingham to fill out a form and one of their account executives will give you a call!

Excited about the Pelicans bringing their NBA G League team to Birmingham? Be sure to tag us on social media @bhamnow telling us your favorite NBA teams and players.

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Josh Pleasants
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