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Team name change from Bobcats to Hornets already financial windfall in Charlotte

Aug 2, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

Charlotte Hornets logo

This is how much the people of Charlotte hated the name Bobcats:

The league has approved a name change back to the Charlotte Hornets but that will not take place until the end of this coming season, yet already the team is feeling a financial windfall from it. (Unless you think fans are lining up to see Cody Zeller play.)

That according to the Sporting News, which spoke to a Charlotte marketing executive (hat tip to EOB).

Most notably, new ticket sales are up 59 percent from last year.

“What’s really encouraging about that is the vast majority of those people have taken advantage of the two-year season ticket program,” (Bobcats’ executive vice president Pete) Guelli said…

The story is equally encouraging on the season ticket renewal side, where the Bobcats are up 11 percent year-over-year, already surpassing last year’s renewal number with months to go until the preseason begins in October. Many of those fans renewing also have taken advantage of the two-year ticket plan offered to new season ticket buyers.

We know there is a love of basketball in Charlotte, but the management of the team since the days George Shinn was running a virtual “what not to do” public relations clinic has been bad. Michael Jordan has not been able to turn it around so far.

But getting back the Hornets name is a big step — the nickname hornet has been tied to Charlotte going back to the Revolutionary War when a Red Coat general called the city a “hornet’s nest.” The city identifies with hornets, right down to one being on the police uniform. The name Bobcats had no local ties (although the owner who picked it was Bob Johnson… so guess where people thought it came from). The name Hornets had moved to New Orleans when Shinn moved the team there, but new New Orleans owner Tom Benson wanted the name changed to something local to that city and went with Pelicans. That freed up the Hornets name.

This is a start. On the court, with Al Jefferson in the post, the Bobcats should be better next season, but not good. However, if you’re picking a year to be bad, this is it.

If the Bobcats get a top prospect in next year’s draft the will be closer to what will really fill up the arena — a winning team.

  1. Russell Cecala Jr - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    No kidding this is the year to be sub par. Even if the Bobcats, or are we calling them Hornets yet, get a top ten pick they will have someone they can build this team around. Surprisingly the Zelller pick could make sense if he becomes the 15 and 9 guy some experts think he will be. Paired with Kid-Gilchrist and Kemba walker I like the potential future of this team. Who knows Jordan might have not gone with the flashy pick this year, but it could have been his safest one yet.

  2. kicksave1980 - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    I don’t really care one way or another about the Bobcats, and I like that they’re changing to the Hornets. But…I may have to buy a Bobcats tshirt or something, because it would be pretty cool to have a decade from now.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      Hipsters will be rocking the hell out of a Bobcats shirt, jersey, or hat within 5 years. All of a sudden it will be “cool”.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      I got all kinds of Bobcats crap. Want a J-Rich jersey or a orange & blue toboggan?

  3. 00maltliquor - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    I have one major question, though. So what happens to the history of what the old Charlotte Hornets turned New Orleans Hornets turned New Orleans Pelicans? All records and accolades, etc., etc.

    Let’s just theoretically say the then Charlotte Hornets won the championship in 1993. Now they are New Orleans Pelicans and in another year there will be another Charlotte Hornets. Does the city get to keep the accolade. It would be forever in the record books that the CHA Hornets won it all back in ’93, but in another 20-30 years new fans would think that it belongs to the old Bobcats team rather then the Pelicans. I’m not sure if this makes sense or if I’m articulating myself correctly.

    • herkulease - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      The history of the original Hornets franchise that now the Pelicans, stays with that franchise unless it worked out when they moved it would remain with the city of Charlotte(it was not).

      Take the Cleveland Browns. The original Browns franchise moved and became the Baltimore Ravens but all franchise records stayed with the city of Cleveland. When Cleveland was awarded a new franchise in 1999, they simple continued where it left off. The record books for the Browns franchise between 1996 and 1999 is simply left off.

      Similarly the Ravens records starts with the 1995 season. There is no mention of anything prior to that, nor is there any Baltimore Colts stuff(that all went to Indy)

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      I live in Charlotte. While technically the team history belongs to New Orleans, there no way you can take it away from us. Our Hornets sold out 388 consecutive home games. There was no good reason for moving the team. And George Shinn is the devil…. other than that I don’t have any strong opinions about the matter.

  4. kingbeason52 - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    I work and go to school in the city of Charlotte, so being around the city you can get a feel for a few things….the Bobcats name was not the problem..the product that Michael Jordan put out on the floor is the problem..that fact that Michael Jordan only is involved when he feels like it is a problem..

    Michael Jordan is viewed as the best player in basketball history…multiple guys in the league have tattoos of his logo on them…he has the most popular shoes in the market..with that being said..why can he not attract free agents to a nice warm city, to play for the best player ever, sign them to a shoe contract..

    Michael Jordan is the biggest problem the Bobcats have…sad but true

  5. longtallsam - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I have always thought it was ridiculous, that when franchises moved, they were allowed to take the nickname with them. So we wouldn’t have dumb names like LA Lakers and Utah Jazz. Instead of going with Pelicans, NO should have done a sign and trade with Utah to get Jazz back! Jazz was the perfect name for New Orleans, not so much for Utah. And is there even a lake in LA?

    • themars211 - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      Lake Los Angeles a$$h*1e

    • hiflew - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      The problem with changing names like the LA Lakers and Utah Jazz now is that those are established brands now. I agree that Jazz fit better in New Orleans and Lakers fits better with Minnesota, but the Utah Jazz basketball team is much more well known and better than the New Orleans Jazz ever was. And the LA Lakers is arguably the most famous basketball brand of all time. Changing them when they moved made sense, but now after many years of success it’s not financially sound.

      • themars211 - Aug 2, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        Lake Los Angeles.

    • themars211 - Aug 2, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      You call it the Pacific Ocean.

      • jcmeyer10 - Aug 3, 2013 at 7:41 AM

        Now you’re just being argumentative seeing as Minnesota has the second most lakes (first among the Continental US), second only to Alaska.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      Lake Elsinore!

  6. losanginsight - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    I guess MJ had better things to do before finally getting around to this.

    • Kurt Helin - Aug 3, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      The name was already in use in New Orleans. As soon as it became free he grabbed it.

  7. MyTeamsAllStink - Aug 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    I shoulda kept my Larry Johnson 2 jersey.Glad the Charlotte Hornets will be returning

  8. ruffridin - Aug 3, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Memphis Grizzlies…what a joke

    • mikemab2000 - Aug 4, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      While the current Grizz got the name from Vancouver, there actually is some history. The WFL Memphis Southmen were commonly called the Grizzlies back in the day.

  9. wwttww - Aug 3, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Wiggins in an Hornet jersey?

  10. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    KURT! Please stop using that awful Hornets logo. Hugo doesn’t have two different colored shoes and neon colors.

  11. chiadam - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    That is a bad-ass logo. Bring back grandmama!

  12. redstar504 - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Gotta agree with the guy who said it Shinn was the devil here in New Orleans too. He threatened to move before every season. Never invested in the team outside of getting B rate free agents granted they hit on the draft pick of CP3 and DWest plus Tyson Chandler turned out nice but when he got good they dumped him for Okafor.

    The main thing was the threats every season buy tickets or I am moving. It’s kind of hard to support a team that just moves here and keeps a figurative gun to your head every season. Be our fan or else.

    Night and day under new ownership.

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