People familiar with the decision say the New Orleans Hornets have decided to change their name to the Pelicans next season.
The people spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the Hornets have not announced the decision. One person says the proposed name change and color scheme of blue, gold and red is scheduled to be announced Thursday.
Hornets owner Tom Benson has said since buying the Hornets last spring that he wanted a new name representing New Orleans and Louisiana.
The brown pelican is the state bird and has become symbolic of efforts to restore Louisiana's fragile coast, which has been hit hard by the 2010 BP oil spill and erosion from major storms.