Pensacola, FL officials continue to make their pitch to the New Orleans Pelicans, in hopes of landing the franchise’s forthcoming NBA Gatorade League (G League) team.
The Pelicans are looking to launch their own G League team for the 2018-19 season, and have sought proposals from several cities. One of the communities in the mix is Pensacola, which has met with Pelicans officials and submitted its proposal for the team.
A Pelicans official has confirmed that Pensacola is “still very much in the running” to land the G League team. Meanwhile, Pensacola representatives are offering details on how they are approaching the bid and are hopeful that Pelicans will opt to place the franchise in the city. More from The Pulse:
“We felt strongly about our original meeting with the Pelicans organization in New Orleans and our recent meeting with governmental affairs representative Steven Pate went well in Pensacola,” Mayor Ashton Hayward said Thursday. “Our team is continuing talks with the Pelicans and we hope we are successful in winning the bid for them to come to Pensacola.”
The city’s proposal sent to the Pelicans last month examined options pertaining to where the new team could play if Pensacola was chosen. A central talking point during discussions is how the Escambia County-owned Pensacola Bay Center could be utilized by the yet-to-be-named team or if a new arena should be built.
The 24-page proposal outlines the facilities available at the 35-year-old Bay Center, which already owns a hardwood basketball court that’s been used for the Harlem Globetrotters and other events. City officials also identified the Vickrey Community Center as a potential temporary practice facility for the team.
Multiple cities in addition to Pensacola remain in the mix. Among those are Jackson, MS and two Louisiana cities–Baton Rouge and Shreveport. (Though previously in the running, Mobile, AL and St. Tammany Parish, LA have ended their bids.) If their plans come to fruition, the Pelicans will not be the only NBA franchise to debut a new G League team in 2018, as the Washington Wizards have already announced plans to establish a club for starting that year.