NEW ORLEANS -- The thing most fans will notice first as they enter the New Orleans Arena is the new basketball court done up in gold, red and blue for the newly branded Pelicans.
Players can’t wait take to their new home court for the first time Wednesday night against the Miami Heat.
“It’s going to be great. We’ve got a new logo and all that. I saw digital photo of the floor, what it’s going to look like, so it’s going to be big,” said Pelicans guard Anthony Morrow.
Pelicans Owner Tom Benson was among the dignitaries touring the renovations Monday afternoon.
“This looks great. It’s going to help us win basketball games, huh?” Benson said, laughing.
The Arena upgrades include new locker rooms, renovated luxury suites, improved VIP areas, a party perch located in the upper bowl giving fans an incredible view of the game and new loge boxes.
Electronic signage is also improved inside and out, and the concourses and concession stands have also been improved.
It’s all part of $50 million in renovations promised in the Pelicans new lease agreement with the state.
“What’s been done so far is pretty remarkable,” said New Orleans Arena General Manager Allen Freeman. “New concession stands, new video boards, LED boards, complete rebuilding of the back of the house facilities and all of the premium spaces in the building.”
Monty Williams, head coach of the Pelicans, said right now he’s focused on just one major improvement inside the arena.
“The Arena, it’s nice,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to winning in that place.”
Williams is hoping the Pelicans will improve dramatically on last year’s 27-55 record.
There will be more work done here at the Arena in the next offseason, including a new grand entrance to the building.