Jindal & Landrieu Discuss Hornets
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu met today to discuss the future of the New Orleans Hornets. The meeting was held to discuss NBA’s pending ownership of the Hornets, and the league’s wish for the State to give more financial support and incentives to help keep the team in the Crescent City.
NBA commisioner David Stern has continally said over the last week and a half that the league’s ultimate desire it to stablitate the Hornet franchise, thus making it more attractive to potential local buyers. Regardless of how well the NBA is or is not in that endeavor, if a local buyer (or buyers) cannot be found, New Orleans Hornet fans have a problem. If a potential buyer will only pay if he or she can move the team, than the Hornets could be on the road out of town.
Knowing this, Jindal and Landrieu urged fans and businesses to flock to the Hive and support the Hornets. Particularly, in the present, to avoid an attendance benchmark clause. John Reid of the Times Picayune has more below.
Under their lease agreement with the state, the Hornets can opt out if their average attendance, from this season and last, isn’t 14,735 by Jan. 31, 2011.
“Really their future is in our hands,” Jindal said. “One of the things we can do in the short term is for our people to show up. We are asking the people in Southeast Louisiana and the region to buy those tickets.”
In order to meet the attendance benchmark, Jindal encouraged fans to buy Hornets’ tickets as potential Christmas gifts for friends and family members.
The NBA announced last week that it is purchasing the franchise from owners George Shinn and Gary Chouest and will seek a local ownership group to possibly keep the team in New Orleans.
Jindal said his staff met with newly appointed Hornets chairman/governor Jac Sperling and team president Hugh Weber Friday about keeping the franchise in New Orleans and they continue to have discussions. Jindal said he spoke the NBA Commissioner David Stern last week.
In announcing the league was purchasing the Hornets, Stern said the league will have to look at new revenue streams, including inducements from the state, to strengthen the team’s financial outlook.
But Gov. Jindal said the league nor the Hornets have not specified yet what they are seeking as a potential additional revenue stream to help their current their financial situation to make the franchise more attractive for a potential buyer.
“In our communication with the commissioner, I feel very comfortable that the NBA is committed to the team in New Orleans,” Mayor Landrieu said. “We’ve been discussing the issue of the Hornets the past couple of weeks and the message today is that the people in this room and we feel the people of Louisiana are going to do everything they can to make sure the Hornets stay in the city of New Orleans.”
So what does the attendance need to be for the next 12 games to prevent the opt out clause? 14, 883. The average so far this season is 13, 735. Fan up Louisiana. It’s that simple.