New Orleans is not only known for its vibrant nightlife but it’s also renowned for its love of sport. We’ve already covered the sporting leagues that you can participate in as an athlete, but this time we’ll look at the best activities to attend as a spectator.
New Orleans Saints Football
The Saints have been in New Orleans since their inception in 1967, and they’ve always been the biggest show on any given Sunday during football season. Their popularity reached a new level in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when locals were desperate for hope and a semblance of normalcy.
From the first playback at the sold-out Superdome the Saints became something more than just a team to root for in the city. They became a signal of hope, passion, and, perhaps most importantly, perseverance.
Nowadays it’s flat out uncommon to go out in public and NOT see someone wearing a Saints jersey. For a while after their Super Bowl victory in 2009, a Saints jersey was just about considered a tuxedo in terms of its social acceptability.
There is no bigger draw than the Saints in New Orleans (as their 70,000+ person waiting list proves), and the city’s emotional state on Mondays is almost always determined by the success (or more recently, failure) of the team on the day prior.
New Orleans Pelicans Basketball
The Pelicans came to New Orleans in 2002 after their move from Charlotte. Originally called the Hornets until a rebranding by now-owner Tom Benson, the Pelicans have at times struggled to sell tickets and gain the full acceptance of their football counterparts.
Chris Paul provided a nice boost to the team in the late 2000s before being traded to the Las Angeles Clippers. More recently, Anthony Davis has shown the potential to be the NBA’s best player.
Derailed by injuries in the past two seasons, it remains to be seen if the team will ever achieve the level of success envisioned by many after scoring the number one pick in the draft in 2012. If they do, the diehard sports fans in New Orleans might finally take full notice and embrace the team as they do the Saints.
New Orleans Zephyrs baseball
The triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, the Zephyrs (recently renamed the Baby Cakes) often boast a talented squad of former and future major league players. They make their home at Zephyr field in Metairie, just a short drive from the heart of New Orleans proper.
The team offers cheap tickets, affordable suites, and even a pool area in the outfield that can be rented for private parties. There’s not much more American than taking in an afternoon or evening of baseball, and with promotions like Thirsty Thursdays ($1 beers all game long), it’s worth checking out.
New Orleans Jesters
Soccer mania is sweeping the nation, and New Orleans has their very own semi-pro team — the Jesters. Made up of mostly local players who still yearn for professional stardom, the Jesters provide an entertaining 90 minutes of soccer. With dirt cheap ticket prices and affordable concessions, Jesters games are a great way to spend an afternoon with your friends or family, whether they’re soccer diehards or just getting introduced to the game.
Note: Joe Gerrity from Korman Gerrity Real Estate is actually considered an NBA “expert” by ESPN and owns/operates two local Pelicans websites — PelicansReport.com and BourbonStreetShots.com. He has covered other sports including the NFL, MLB, and golf as well. If you’re interested in talking sports and real estate with Joe, contact him at [email protected].