After evaluating the proposals and consulting with NBA officials, the Pelicans hope to select an affiliate market by the fall. The Pelicans plan to debut their new team, which will be owned and operated by Pelicans owner Tom Benson, in the 2018-2019 season. St. Tammany Parish withdrew from consideration after determining it couldn’t provide a suitable venue for competition by the club’s 2018-2019 debut.
Jackson’s bid has been complicated by the city’s recent mayoral election. The city also would need to upgrade the Mississippi Coliseum to meet NBA requirements to land the team, Jackson Director of Innovation and Performance Justin Bruce told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. The Coliseum would need upgrades to its seating, lighting and additional spots for sponsorship and advertising.