NBA Returns: New Orleans Pelicans to host Atlanta Hawks in Birmingham this fall

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena.(Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

The NBA is coming to The Magic City for a preseason exhibition game this fall.

The New Orleans Pelicans will host their regional arch-rival Atlanta Hawks on Friday, October 14, at Legacy Arena, home of the Pelicans’ NBA G League affiliate, the Birmingham Squadron. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.

“This is a big deal,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “As a basketball fan, I am thrilled to see these amazing teams battle it out. As the mayor, I am proud that this event can be enjoyed by our residents and visitors. This just further confirms that Birmingham is a destination for top sports events in our region.”

Commitment to Birmingham

Birmingham Squadron
New Orleans Pelicans and Birmingham Squadron owner Gayle Benson. (Tira Davis/Bham Now)

The game comes almost a year after the Pelicans officially launched the Birmingham Squadron  to Birmingham in July 2021.

“The decision to launch the Squadron was a commitment by the Pelicans’ organization to invest in the Birmingham community,” said Pelicans Governor Gayle Benson. “This Pelicans preseason game in Birmingham is a tangible example of that commitment, and this is just the beginning. We want to thank the City of Birmingham, the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, and everyone involved in making this event happen.”

NBA Returns

CityWalk BHAM
Legacy Arena.. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The last time the NBA played a preseason game was in 2018, when the Memphis Grizzlies played the Houston Rockets. Since that game four years ago, Legacy Arena received a    makeover totaling $125 million in renovations. 

“Birmingham and Legacy Arena playing host to a NBA preseason game with the  New Orleans Pelicans was exactly the kind of enhanced partnership opportunity we had in mind when first discussing bringing the Birmingham Squadron NBA G League team to Birmingham,”said BJCC Executive Director and CEO Tad Snider. “From the earliest discussions it was apparent the Pelicans organization and Gayle Benson had a genuine interest to partner with our city in a deeper way than just the team. With the inaugural season behind us just as we were completing the renovations to Legacy Arena, this announcement is a wonderful momentum builder leading into season two.”

Game Part of Season Ticket Package

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

Season ticket membership plans for the Birmingham Squadron’s 2022-23 campaign are on sale now. Squadron season ticket holders will receive complimentary tickets for the preseason game between the Pelicans and Hawks, and will also have the ability to purchase additional tickets for the preseason matchup at a special season ticket holder rate.

Visit or call the Squadron ticket office at (205) 719-0850 for additional details.

Have you been to a Birmingham Squadron Game at Legacy Arena? We’d love to hear about it, especially if you can share photos. Tag us on social media @bhamnow

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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