In New Orleans, we support the Saints (NFL football), the Pelicans (NBA basketball), and the Jesters (NBA basketball).
The New Orleans Hornets were a National Basketball Association (NBA) team that played from 1997 to 2002. The team was founded as an expansion franchise and was originally known as the Charlotte Hornets until they changed their name after moving to New Orleans. The Hornets played their home games at the 4,200-seat Pyramid Arena beginning with their first season. They were able to win 50 games during their only season before closing up shop due to financial difficulties.
After leaving the NBA, the Hornets' assets were sold to a group led by Michael Jordan who renamed the team the Wizards. However, this team never played a game in New Orleans because they moved to Washington D.C. before the start of the 2003-04 season.
New Orleans has had quite the history with basketball. The New Orleans Jazz were one of the original six teams that formed the NBA back in 1946. They played their home games at the old Madison Square Garden until they moved to Utah where they became the Jazz. The Jazz won two championships in 1979 and 1980. After 22 seasons, the Jazz decided to call it quits after the 1989-90 season.
|American Football||New Orleans Saints||National Football League|
|Basketball||New Orleans Pelicans||National Basketball Association|
|Rugby Union||New Orleans Gold||Major League Rugby|
A wide range of athletic events are held in New Orleans. The home games of the New Orleans Saints (NFL) and Pelicans (NBA), the annual Sugar Bowl, the annual Zurich Classic (PGA Tour), and horse racing at the Fair Grounds Race Course among the most prominent. In fact, New Orleans has more sports teams than any other city in Louisiana.
Football is by far the most popular sport in New Orleans. The Saints have won more division titles than any other team and have made it to the NFL Championship game eight times since their inception in 1972. Baseball is also widely supported with three major league teams - the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros - having their home stadiums in the city. The NBA's Pelicans were established in 1967 and have reached the playoffs nine out of their first ten seasons. In addition, college football is a big deal in New Orleans with four different schools from across the country holding NCAA Division I championships. Finally, soccer is growing in popularity in New Orleans with two professional teams playing in the city's two biggest sports arenas. All told, athletics are a big part of life in New Orleans with many opportunities for fans to get involved.
There are several factors that help explain why sports are so important in New Orleans. First of all, the city is known for its enthusiastic fan base who always go crazy when their teams win and stay glued to the television set for daily updates on their favorite players.