Benson: Hornets Will Be The New Orleans Pelicans - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Benson: Hornets Will Be The New Orleans Pelicans

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NEW ORLEANS, La. ( - New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson announced Thursday afternoon that the team will be known as New Orleans Pelicans next season.

The team now formerly known as the Hornets officially announced they are changing their nickname to Pelicans and revealed new colors and logos. The brown pelican is the state bird of Louisiana.

The team will play the rest of the season under the nickname Hornets and then make the full transition to Pelicans starting next season. The primary colors are red, blue and gold.

The Hornets brought their nickname with them when former owner George Shinn relocated the franchise from Charlotte in 2002. But under new local owner Tom Benson, the organization wants to embed itself a little more directly with its community and city.

The pelican is the Louisiana state bird and was the name of a minor-league baseball team that played in New Orleans from 1889 to 1959, so it has direct ties to the city and state.

A video introducing the nickname can be seen here, which begins by saying, "The New Orleans NBA franchise is long overdue a name change. The Hornets were well-named in Charlotte but this doesn't carry over to a unique town with such rich culture and history as the Crescent City."

The organization reportedly filed for five name trademarks: Pelicans, Mosquitos, Swamp Dogs, Bullsharks and Rougarou.

View the photo in this story for the logo markings that were also released by the team.

Tune in tonight for the latest on the team's name change on News Channel 5. Please refer to and @kalbtv5. Join the conversation on Twitter at #kalb5.

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