You love the New Orleans Saints! You love the New Orleans Pelicans! You may even like the New Orleans Baby Cakes! But, have you heard of the New Orleans Jesters?
The New Orleans Jesters are New Orleans' official soccer team, who is part of the National Premier Soccer League. Founded in 2003, the Jesters started off as The New Orleans Shell Shockers, named after their sponsor Shell Oil Company. The team originally started off in the USL Premier Development League. In their first year, the team dominated the competition making it into the finals. However, they lost their final game with a score of 2-0.
In the next year, the team had some difficulty making it back to how they played their first year with hopes of a return being dashed. The team would have even more trouble after their stadium, Pan American Stadium, was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. However, the team would receive help from fellow teams like the New England Revolution and people such as Northern Ireland football manager Lawrie Sanchez in their effort to get their stadium restored.
Despite this, the team couldn't find success ending many seasons at the bottom of their division. The team would later lose their sponsorship with Shell, have to take the word shell out of their names, and move to another stadium.
However, this wouldn't keep the team down. After the 2008 season, the team decided to rebrand themselves. They changed their names to the Jesters to reflect New Orleans culture and began to put a focus on helping out their community. This change was for the better. The Jesters went undefeated in the regular season and made it all the way to the semi-finals.
Since then, the team has moved on to join the National Premier Soccer League and return to their home at the Pan American Stadium.