Apparently, Shreveport is no longer in the game to bring the New Orleans Pelicans G-League team to Shreveport.
Greg Bensel, vice president of communications for the NBA G League team, made the announcement.
“We have moved on and are talking to other cities,” Bensel said.
Last spring, Shreveport was one of six southern cities responding to the Pelicans Request for Proposals (RFP) for the NBA Development League. Baton Rouge, Jackson, MS, Mobile, AL, Pensacola, FL and St. Tammany Parish, LA also sent in its proposals to launch its own NBA Development League team beginning play in the 2018-2019 season.
In conjunction with the RFP, Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler’s administration created an elaborate plan to built a $30 million sports arena in downtown Shreveport, using $27.1 million in public revenue bonds to pay for it,
The bonds, the City said, were backed through the Riverfront Development Fund, which three casinos in Shreveport pay into. Proponents of the proposal claimed it was guaranteed revenue for as long as the casinos are in operation, and the money was designated specifically for economic development on the riverfront.
A private development company, Corporate Realty out of Birmingham, Ala. Was willing to invest $139 million in private money, the administration said, and the project would include private development in a such things as a hotel, condos, shops and restaurants.
In the beginning, it appeared the administration might have the four out of seven City Council majority votes needed to pull it off, but as time got closer to the final vote on Sept. 12, the plan began to take on water.
Though sports enthusiasts and economic entities were in favor of the plan, other citizens had questions about the $27.1 million in revenue bonds, and the Shreveport Police Officer’s Association came out against the plan, citing at least eight years since police had received a raise.
Despite the full-court press on the part of the City, when the time for a vote by the City Council rolled around, the measure was unanimously defeated.
The following day, Bensel said Shreveport was still in the running for the team, and the City Council’s decision would not have an effect on the Pelicans’ choice for a home.
But today, that all changed.