NBA G-League team could bring economic boom to growing downtown

NBA G-League to Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In a couple of years, the Magic City will get a taste of the NBA.

Sources tell us the New Orleans Pelicans will announce Wednesday a G-league team is coming to Birmingham

"We had a great exhibition game here recently that was completely sold out. There is a big pent-up demand for NBA basketball and here you have a league and a team that’s going to be formally affiliated with the National Basketball Association,” Gene Hallman, President and CEO of the Bruno Event Team, said.

We’re told the team will play in Erie, Pennsylvania next season until renovations are complete at Legacy Arena. The renovations that could attract even more events to the city.

"The BJCC is going to be completely transformed. New skins, new seats, new concourses. Suites will be added. So the fans will go in watching this new team play and what is going to be basically a completely transformed building being a great experience all the way around,” Hallman said.

The new G-league team could be an economic slam dunk for the area that’s growing with professional sports teams.

"I think having an anchor tenant like this is going to have more than 20 home games a year is going to do wonders really for the whole BJCC complex especially for the retailers, restaurants and Uptown. But also it should help go along with the stadium and Top Golf and everything else to sparking some more commercial development in the area around the northern Birmingham area,” Ty West with the Birmingham Business Journal said.

Hallman says when looking at the national television ratings for the NBA, Birmingham is up near the top. He says there’s a big appetite for NBA basketball here.

Fans tell me they are ready to see it more in person.

The Pelicans organization is expected to officially announce the team Wednesday afternoon at the BJCC.

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