The Smoothie King Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in New Orleans’ Central Business District, adjacent to Caesars Superdome. It opened in 1999 as New Orleans Arena and has been home to the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 2002. The Smoothie King Center can seat 17,805 for concerts, 16,867 for Pelicans games, 18,500 for college basketball and Pelicans playoff games, and 16,900 for ice hockey and arena football.

The arena was completed in 1999 at a cost of $114 million and officially opened on October 19th, 1999. It was originally named New Orleans Arena and was home to the New Orleans Brass ice hockey team of the ECHL until the team played their last season in 2002. When the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) arrived in 2002, they became the primary tenant of the arena. The arena was renamed Smoothie King Center in 2014 when the New Orleans Pelicans announced a 10-year naming rights deal with Smoothie King. The deal is believed to be estimated around $40 million.

New Orleans Pelicans Smoothie King Center

How to Get to New Orleans

The nearest airport to Smoothie King Center is Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), which is located about 13 miles away. There are several airlines offering direct flights from London Heathrow (LHR) to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) with a flight time of approximately 10 hours.

If you are already in the US and looking to travel to/from New Orleans, then you have the choice of most US domestic airlines including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Eagle, Frontier Airlines, Jet Blue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airways and WestJet.

Public Transport

You can use public transportation to get to the Smoothie King Center. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operates bus and streetcar services that have stops within a ten-minute walk of the Smoothie King Center. You could also make use of free apps such as Moovit to get real-time updates and directions to get to the arena using public transportation.

Rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft are also available in the vicinity, with designated rideshare drop-off and pick-up zones for events held at the Smoothie King Center.

Staying in New Orleans

Popular neighbourhoods to stay in when visiting the Smoothie King Center include the Central Business District itself, and the adjacent French Quarter.

The Central Business District is a bustling commercial and residential district. It is home to historic sky-rise buildings, countless art galleries, and some of the most iconic streets in the city. The area is known for its creative thinkers, inventive restaurants, and upscale shopping.

The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighbourhood in New Orleans. The neighbourhood is known for its lively atmosphere, magnificent colonial architecture, skilled street performers, and rich history.

New Orleans Pelicans Tickets

The New Orleans Pelicans sell their tickets via SeatGeek.

The official ticket partner for the NBA is

Here are links to the main ticket resale sites. Click on the link, which will open up a new window, and you can compare the prices on the different ticket resell sites, bearing in mind that the prices shown are before the selling platform fees are added, so take time to have a read of my tips to Buying Tickets in North America.

I recommend downloading the team’s Mobile App to your phone as it contains much Gameday information for the stadium.

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