Smoothie King Center Information:
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Address: 815 Girod Street New Orleans, Louisiana
Parking: Parking is available at the Superdome and at the parking garages.
Year Opened: 1999
Occupants: New Orleans Pelicans
Rules: Cameras and recording devices are prohibited. Cans, bottles, outside food, is also not prohibited in Smoothie King Center.
The Smoothie King Center was built in 1999 and sits right next to the Louisiana Superdome on the northwest corner of downtown New Orleans. It is home to the New Orleans Hornets, who moved in 2002 from the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. The arena is within easy access of I-10 and downtown public transportation, and it is also within walking distance of many of New Orleans' downtown hotels and the French Quarter. The venue is known for its large glass facades that are illuminated in the evening and during games with bright floodlights. The seating capacity is 18,000, including 44 luxury suites. Many people arrive early for games to head out to the adjacent Girod Street. The avenue is closed to traffic and hosts a myriad of pregame activities and entertainment, including hoops contests, live music and refreshments.
New Orleans was overjoyed to receive its second major professional sports team in 2002 with the arrival of the Hornets. The Hornets impressed local crowds right out of the gate by making the playoffs in successive years in 2003 and 2004 with a young team featuring Jamal Mashburn, Kenny Anderson and Baron Davis.
The Hornets received a jolt in popularity with the arrival of All-Star point guard Chris Paul before the 2005-06 season. He would go on to win Rookie of the Year and instantly turned the Hornets into a contender. The Hornets made the playoffs in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and are still striving to make a trip to the NBA Finals. Furthermore, New Orleans is a city that knows how to party, so every game seems to have a bit of festive flair that makes it a unique experience for sports fans.
While Bourbon Street and the French Quarter get much of the attention when people go to visit the Big Easy, there are plenty of fabulous events to be found at the New Orleans Center. The arena has hosted various big-name tours over the years, such as Rush's Snakes & Arrows Tour, Coldplay's Viva La Vida Tour, R.E.M.'s In Time Tour and Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour. There's always something to do in New Orleans, and knowing that world-class entertainment is a short walk away could seal the deal for many prospective travelers.