Spirit Is Gone; Team Becomes Hornets

Charlotte clearly has the spirit, having shown support of its new NBA expansion franchise by buying a record 15,652 season tickets through last week, but it will no longer have the Spirit.

Owner George Shinn officially named the team the Hornets last week after reviewing more than 9,000 ballots submitted by readers of the Charlotte Observer.

Spirit, the name that was tentatively given the team, didn't fare well in the voting. It finished fourth among the six names Shinn said he would consider.

"The fact that all these people felt this way, and they cared this much, made a difference," Shinn said. "And it was important, too, because the name (Hornets) has a historical significance in our area."

During the Revolutionary War, a British Military commander was said to have referred to the Charlotte area as a nest of hornets.

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