The New Orleans Pelicans and the NBA G League today announced that the Pelicans have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA G League team that will play in the renovated Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The team is expected to debut in Birmingham in the 2022-23 season following the renovations. With today’s announcement, the NBA G League expands to a record 28 teams for the 2019-20 season. In an effort to accelerate player development, the team will begin play next season in Erie, Pennsylvania, as the Erie BayHawks, while its permanent home at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) undergoes renovations. The name and identity of the team in Birmingham will be announced at a later date. The Pelicans organization will engage with the Birmingham community to determine an identity that best represents the city and the region.
“I’m so pleased to welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the NBA G League’s growing family,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner. “The Pelicans join the league at an exciting time: We’re on the brink of 30 teams and are coming off our most productive season to date. I look forward to fans in Birmingham enjoying NBA G League basketball for seasons to come.” “This is a tremendous day for the Pelicans organization,” said Pelicans owner Gayle Benson. “I’d like to thank the City of Birmingham, Mayor Woodfin and Tad Snider of the BJCC for being such fantastic partners in the endeavor. These are exciting times for this region, and we feel so fortunate to be a part of it.”