Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward finally contacted the Escambia County commissioners about his efforts to attract a NBA developmental team to the Pensacola area. He emailed and hand-delivered the following letter to each commissioner and followed up with a phone call.
June 9, 2017
Board of County Commissioners Escambia County
221 Palafox Place,
Pensacola, FL 32502
Re: New Orleans Pelicans Proposal
Dear County Commissioners:
On May 24th, the Pensacola delegation and I were invited to present to the New Orleans Pelicans Executive Office. This past Wednesday we traveled to New Orleans to market the great things happening in our community. It is evident that their team is receptive to our area.
The Pelicans organization indicated the next steps in the process would be for the team to contact the City and the County if we are selected as a finalist. I will reiterate that the objective of this meeting was to promote the success of our region and to provide the organization with evidence that proves we have an environment that will help the Pelicans organization succeed.
It is encouraging for an organization of this magnitude to recognize the investments made in our partners, our corporate and military communities, our citizens,
community by our development and local government. I look forward to the opportunity of working on the next steps of this process together.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 850-435-1624.
Ashton J. Hayward
On Tuesday, Assistant County Administrator Amy Lovoy sent the commissioners a timeline that showed Mayor Hayward and his team have been working on the presentation since late March. The timeline:
* A letter dated March 31, 2017 addressed to the Mayor was sent to the City requesting a response to an RFP issued by the Pelicans to establish a D league basketball team in the area.
* The RFP calls for an “intent to respond” to the RFP by April 21, 2017.
* On May 17, 2017 the City contacts SMG representatives at the Bay Center requesting assistance in responding to the RFP. SMG, on several occasions, stated that they cannot assist with the specific nature of the RFP without County involvement and approval.
* In a letter dated May 31, 2017 from the Mayor to the Chairman, the Mayor asks for the County’s assistance for informational purposes.
* I met with City representatives today (June 6) and emphasized that since the County has not taken a position on this, that the City cannot make representations as to the availability (or not) of the Bay Center without County involvement.
* The City representatives will be meeting with Pelican representatives tomorrow (June 7) at 4:30.
In his phone call to the commissioners, Mayor Hayward told them that Lovoy’s facts were incorrect. Inweekly has made a public record request of the assistant county administrator for any emails concerning the NBA team.