The Ultimate Guide to Attending a New Orleans Pelicans Basketball Game


Being a part of the New Orleans Pelicans fandom is more than wearing a team jersey and cheering. Like most events in the Crescent City, Pelicans games celebrate the city’s perseverance and culture with traditional food, alcoholic beverages, and southern hospitality.  

History of the Pelicans Basketball Team

Once recognized as the Charlotte Hornets, the New Orleans Pelicans have gone through several relocations and a rebranding in the few decades of their existence. Yet, the team has cultivated one of the Crescent City’s most supportive and entertaining fan bases.

Founded by George Shinn in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Charlotte Hornets set multiple records in NBA history. After 14 years in Charlotte, the team relocated to New Orleans, where their residency at the Smoothie King Center Began. Over the years, the team acquired many all-star players, such as Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis, Brandon Ingram, and De Marcus Cousins.

In 2014, the New Orleans Hornets were no longer. The team was rebranded as the New Orleans Pelicans to represent their home state. In the team’s lifetime, they made seven playoff appearances and achieved a division championship in 2008.

March Home Game Schedule

Fans can cheer on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center throughout March. Home games will occur on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 12, at 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 21, at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 23, at 7 p.m.

Jersey or Glitter

Glitter is never out of place in a city that never sleeps, even at a basketball game. Some fans go for the 360 slam dunk by bedazzling their jerseys. A plain jersey or clothes matching the team’s colors will do for those feeling less dazzling.

Getting There and Where to Park

The Smoothie King Center offers public parking in seven garages and two surface lots surrounding the venue. Although parking is not free, the center’s parking spots are the closest. Rates range between $20 and $50 for the duration of a Pelicans game. Fans can find additional public parking garages along Loyola Avenue and Girod Street for lower rates. Of course, free street parking is available, but it can be tricky with restrictions and passing traffic.

Enjoy Traditional New Orleans Cuisine

Fans can get hot dogs and nachos at any sports game, but only at a Pelicans basketball game can fans indulge in an alligator po’boy from New Orleans’s own Zatarains. The Smoothie King Center hosts a variety of food vendors like no other stadium. Crescent City Cuisine supplies fans with traditional New Orleans foods like red beans and rice, smoked sausage, and jambalaya.

Try Local Craft Beers

In addition to local cuisine, fans can try some of Louisiana’s most popular craft beers at the Craft Beer Bar on the arena’s 100 and 200 plaza levels. Local brews on rotation include Ghost in the Machine by Parish Brewing Co., Dat’Suma by Faubourg Brewing Company, and Andygator by Abita Brewing Company. Fans looking for the bank shot of New Orleans alcoholic beverages should stop at Big Easy Daquiri.

Cheer or Bust

The fun doesn’t stop after the concessions. At the sound of the buzzer, it’s time for some crowd participation. Fans chant general phrases like “let’s go, Pels” and “defense” throughout the game. When point guard Jose Alvarado takes the spotlight, fans chant, “Jo-se, Jo-se, Jo-se.” It is no surprise that New Orleans ensures players and fans feel at home throughout every game.

Stay at Maison Dupuy

One of the best ways to experience a New Orleans Pelicans game is by staying at a hotel in the middle of it all. Maison Dupuy is ideally situated in the heart of the French Quarter. Make a reservation at Maison Dupuy today.