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Buzz: NBA New Orleans Pelicans official in Pensacola today (update)

June 28, 2017

Inweekly has confirmed with two sources that the New Orleans Pelicans’ head of governmental affairs. Stephen Pate, is visiting Pensacola today to get more information on the area and talk with county officials about the Pensacola Bay Center.

Earlier this month, Mayor Ashton Hayward traveled to New Orleans to submit a proposal for the Pensacola Bay Center to host the Pelicans’s developmental team starting in the fall of 2018. The only catch was Mayor Hayward has no control over the Bay Center, which is owned by Escambia County.

Since then, the Pensacola Bay Center’s general manager, Cindy Pennington, has told the county commission that the facility doesn’t meet many of the requirements laid out by the team in its request for proposals. Commission chair Doug Underhill has talked about demolishing the civic center.

However, if the Pelicans’s choice is between Pensacola and Shreveport, the team owners may be willing to work out a deal with the county.

Stay tuned.

Note: An earlier version had misidentified the Pelicans official.

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