If you thought that people were going to be improbably interested in the New Orleans Pelicans this year, you may have just been confirmed correct.
In a report from ESPN, the team estimated that more than 10,000 people attended the Pelicans’ open scrimmage on Saturday to garner their first look in person at Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, JJ Reddick, and the rest of the New Orleans squad.
That’s a huge amount of people to turn out for an event like this, particularly in a city like New Orleans that isn’t known as one of the more impassioned fanbases.
And they showed out in a way the fan base has few times before. Pelicans officials estimated over 10,000 fans in attendance for Saturday’s open scrimmage, with some waiting in line for over an hour outside of the Smoothie King Center in temperatures pushing 90 degrees.
Teams hold these kinds of open scrimmages before and during the preseason all over the country. Where I live in Portland, the Trail Blazers hold a Fan Fest event that is always well attended. But Rip City is known as one of the more basketball-crazed cities, and they don’t have much else in terms of sports like they do in the Big Easy.
This is a good sign moving forward, and it feels like a lot of people outside of Louisiana are going to be rooting for the Pelicans as one of their League Pass teams.