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It’s official—The Magic City’s new G-League basketball team will be named the Birmingham Squadron. Keep reading to learn the meaning behind Squadron, when the 2021-2022 season starts and how YOU can win tickets!
What’s a Squadron?
The name “Squadron” has ties both to Birmingham’s history and the New Orleans Pelicans, the Squadron’s affiliate team. In fact, a flock of Pelicans is called a “Squadron”. But the team’s name means more than that.
“From the 99th Pursuit Squadron — the first all-Black flying squadron in the Air Force — to the city of Birmingham’s production of planes during WWII, the state of Alabama has played a significant role in our nation’s military history, and we felt it was important to highlight that in the Birmingham Squadron brand.”David Lane, Squadron General Manager of Business
How the Squadron Landed in Birmingham
The Squadron coming to Birmingham has been in the works since 2018. The Birmingham community’s love and support of its sports teams made our city the perfect place to lay roots. The Squadron will be Birmingham’s first G-League team, bringing a new professional sport to the city. Previously, the closest NBA teams were the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and College Park Skyhawks (the Hawks G-League affiliate.) Finally, Birminghamians will have the NBA closer to home.
“We want to spread the Pelicans’ brand not only in Louisiana, but in Alabama, as well as across the entire region.”Trajan Langdon, General Manager, New Orleans Pelicans
What’s the G-League?
The G-League is a developmental league for players. While continuing to hone their skills, players can be called up to play for their home team. With New Orleans only a five-hour drive away, that means our soon-to-be hometown heroes can be called to play for the Pelicans anytime, providing additional support for the home team. Well-known former G-League players include Danny Green, Seth Curry and Jeremy Lin.
“We’ll be able to get guys in a car in the morning or the next day to be able to participate in a game or practice. It will get more reps for our younger players, which is incredibly important.”Trajan Langdon, General Manager, New Orleans Pelicans
When Does the 2021-2022 Season Start?
Ready to watch the Squadron shoot some hoops? Well, it won’t be long. The Squadron makes their debut this upcoming season so get ready Birmingham! While their first few games will be played in New Orleans, starting October they’ll call our newly renovated Legacy Arena home. Look forward to more of the family-friendly, affordable fun you already know and love in Birmingham.
“We’re thrilled with the announcement of the Squadron playing in Birmingham at Legacy Arena. The BJCC and local leaders are thrilled that the modernization project for Legacy Arena and the G League affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans have aligned to provide a first-class experience for Squadron fans. We know the team will be a great asset for our community, our economy and the BJCC.”Tad Snider, Executive Director and CEO of the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex