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New Orleans to officially change nickname to Pelicans

Published On: Jan 25 2013 09:35:04 AM CST
New Orleans Pelicans NBA team logo

Courtesy of New Orleans Hornets

The New Orleans franchise formally announced its new Pelicans nickname and revealed the team colors and logos Thursday.

The nickname change will take place before the start of next season. The team's color scheme will be blue, gold and red.

When the franchise relocated from Charlotte, owner George Shinn didn't change the Hornets nickname. But Tom Benson, who purchased the team from the NBA last summer, has wanted a name more closely tied to the region.

"It's a symbol of the state, it's a symbol of our resolve, to come back too," said Benson, referring to last decade's Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. "Gee, we've done it. That's what’s great.”

The pelican is Louisiana's state bird. A New Orleans minor-league baseball team also carried the nickname from 1889 to 1959.

The other names under consideration were Mosquitos, Swamp Dogs, Bullsharks and Rougarou.

The Charlotte Bobcats franchise made an announcement Tuesday that it was interested in acquiring the Hornets that was part of that's city's previous NBA franchise.

"We are aware of the impending change regarding the team nickname in New Orleans," the team said in a statement. "We are currently in contact with the NBA and conducting our own due diligence relative to this matter. We will not have any further comment until we have completed this process."

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