The following was an email sent to the Bobcats distribution list:
Today marks a monumental occasion for our franchise and for the city of Charlotte, as we have officially submitted our application to the NBA Board of Governors to change our name to the Charlotte Hornets beginning with the 2014-15 season. The response we received during the process of researching this decision was overwhelming and made it clear to us that you wanted the Hornets name back in Charlotte.
The Charlotte Hornets name has been a mainstay throughout the region for many years, and we are excited to announce our intention to re-establish this historic brand. We believe that its return will galvanize our fan base by unifying our loyal Bobcats fans with those who have strong memories of our city’s NBA predecessor.
I remember playing against the Hornets when the Charlotte Coliseum was one of the most exciting atmospheres in the league. There was a genuine love for the team and a level of appreciation that few other places could claim. When I purchased this franchise three years ago, one of my goals was to bring that passion for NBA basketball back to the city of Charlotte. Today’s announcement is the first step in a process that we hope will see our team take the floor as the Hornets in 2014-15 and then ultimately lead to that same widespread enthusiasm and pride in our franchise as we continue to grow our fan base.
We anticipate that the NBA’s Board of Governors will vote on our application at its next meeting on July 18. Their approval would launch a year-long process that would include the selection of the team’s colors, the designing of the team’s logo, uniforms and playing court, and a number of alterations at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The next 18 months will be very exciting for our organization, and we thank you for embarking on this journey with us and for Backing the Buzz.
Additionally, this was the official news release on the matter:
Bobcats Sports & Entertainment Chairman Michael Jordan announced today that the organization has submitted its application to change the team’s name to the Charlotte Hornets starting with the 2014-15 season. The request now goes to the NBA Board of Governors, which next meets on July 18 in Las Vegas, where it would need a majority vote for approval.
“This is a monumental moment for our organization,” Jordan said. “After undergoing an elaborate research process, we recognize that this is what our fans want. We believe that making this change would not only re-establish one of the most recognized brands in sports but would also unify our fan base by bringing together our loyal Bobcats fans with those who have fond memories of our city’s NBA predecessor. Our fans spoke and we listened.”
The historical significance of the Hornets moniker dates back to the American Revolution, when the city of Charlotte’s resistance led British General Charles Cornwallis to refer to the local militia members as “a veritable nest of hornets.” The Charlotte Hornets name appears throughout the city’s sports history, having previously been used by a minor league baseball team from 1901-1973, a World Football League team in 1974 and 1975, and the city’s previous NBA team from 1988-2002.
Charlotte’s first major professional sports team, the NBA’s Hornets led the league in attendance during their inaugural season in 1988-89 and went on to do so seven straight times from 1990-91 to 1996-97, recording 364 consecutive sellouts from Dec. 23, 1988 through Nov. 21, 1997.
The application to change the name is the first step in a process that would lead to the team taking the floor as the Hornets starting with the 2014-15 season. Pending approval from the Board of Governors, additional pieces of the process would include the selection of the team’s colors, designing of the team’s logo, uniforms and playing court, and a myriad of alterations at Time Warner Cable Arena, among others.
In order to allow fans to show their support for the return of the Hornets name to Charlotte, the organization has created a two-year ticket plan that includes both the 2013-14 season and the 2014-15 season when the Charlotte Hornets would take the floor for the first time in 12 years. Tickets are available now by calling 704-688-8000 or visiting BackBuzzCity.com.