Fans' excitement soaring as Pelicans begin new season

Fans' excitement soaring as Pelicans begin new season

With high hopes surrounding the New Orleans Pelicans talented young roster, the team scored a big season-opening over the Orlando Magic, 101-84, inside the newly-renovated Smoothie King Center, Tuesday.

As fans flowed through the turnstiles, they received red Pelicans t-shirts to match the team's flashy new red alternate uniforms.

Folks we talked with said they're excited over the possibilities ahead in the 2014-2015 season.

"I think (the team is) ready and I'm ready," said Michael Siller. "It's time to rock n' roll."

Deidre Phillips believes the Pels are poised to take the next step.

"I think they're going to be great. I think they're going to make the playoffs, and I'm looking forward to it," said Deidre Phillips.

For team officials, it's a momentous time.

"The way the team is coming along and the new improvements we made to the Smoothie King Center, we're really excited about the start of the season," said Pelicans Chief Financial Officer Ed Lang.

Lang says millions of dollars in renovations to the Smoothie King Center will give the fan experience a big boost. Fans will notice the changes immediately, upon entering the facility.

"(We have) a new kind of grand entryway, about 15,000 square feet of additional concourse. Also, they'll be able to see our brand new Pelicans store, which about double the size it used to be," he said. "Then up in the 300 level, we've something for the kids, we have a new interactive area for the kids."

Those are just a few of the building's many improvements, Lang said.

Tuesday, however, fans were focused most on the promise of a talented Pelicans roster, led by the one of the NBA's biggest stars -- Anthony Davis, who nearly scored a triple-double against the Magic, finishing with 26 points, 17 rebound and 9 blocks.

"A.D. is about to tear it up, man," said Kaleb Melson.

Chase and Angelle Guarisco agreed.

"I'm excited that everybody is healthy. So hopefully we can stay healthy through the whole season and win some games," Angelle said.

"I think we've got a good chance to make the playoffs this year, and Anthony Davis is going to be fun to watch," Chase said. "I'm hoping he stays for a long time and we can watch him for years to come, and he's the next CP3 here -- gets people coming to the games and supporting the team."

Official attendance for the game was listed at more than 17,000.