Pelicans to operate minor-league team in Birmingham, Alabama

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) The New Orleans Pelicans will field a G League team in Birmingham starting in the 2022-23 season.

The Pelicans announced Wednesday they have acquired the rights to the NBA G League team, giving the developmental league 28 teams by the 2019-20 season.¬†Only the Trail Blazers and Nuggets don’t have affiliates.

The team, which hasn’t been named, will play next season as the Erie BayHawks in Pennsylvania while Birmingham’s Legacy Arena is renovated.

The downtown arena will undergo a $123 million renovation and expansion before the team begins play in Alabama. The upgrades include a new facade, new entrances and an expansion that allows for a new suite level and premium club space.

The Pelicans will partner with the BayHawks’ current management to operate the team in Erie.

Erie has had an NBA G League team since the 2008-09 season.