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Hornets to call LSU, OK City home

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  • Hornets to call LSU, OK City home

    QUOTE
    Hornets to call Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge 'home'
    ESPN.com news services

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- The New Orleans Hornets will play 35 home games in Oklahoma City and six others in Baton Rouge, La., under terms of a temporary relocation agreement approved Wednesday by the city council.

    The New Orleans Arena, where the Hornets normally play, was damaged by Hurricane Katrina and could take months to repair. But even if New Orleans is ready to welcome the team back before the season ends, the Hornets are locked into their 35 dates at the 19,675-seat Ford Center.

    Playoffs games also would be played in Oklahoma City, and the Hornets will have the option to stay for an extra year.

    The Hornets also moved up the date of their home opener against Sacramento to Nov. 1, making it one of four games to be played leaguewide on the opening night of the season.

    All of the Hornets' games against Eastern Conference opponents will be played in Oklahoma City. The games scheduled for Baton Rouge are Dec. 16 against Phoenix, Jan. 13 against Sacramento, Jan. 18 against Memphis, March 8 against the Los Angeles Lakers, March 18 against Denver and March 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

    "It was important to the Hornets and the NBA that we maintain a presence in Louisiana in anticipation of a return to New Orleans next season," commissioner David Stern said.

    The three games scheduled for Baton Rouge in March could be moved back to New Orleans if circumstances permit, league attorney Joel Litvin said.

    City Council members unanimously approved a lease that would provide financial support for the Hornets should their revenue drop in the temporary venue. If the team does not earn 5 percent more in local revenue than it made in New Orleans last season, taxpayers and local businessmen pay the team as much as $10 million.

    If the team exceeds last season's revenues by more than 5 percent, Oklahoma City would receive 80 percent of the proceeds to cover its expenses. If all the city's costs are covered, the team and the city would split the remaining profits in half.

    Local officials expect to gain sales and income tax revenue, along with a chance to showcase the city to a national and international audience.

    "Very few businesses offer that type of exposure," Mayor Mick Cornett said at the council meeting.

    In addition to use of the city-owned Ford Center, built in 2002, the city will make provisions for the Hornets to have a practice facility, downtown office space and housing for the upcoming season. Approximately 7,500 tickets for each of the 35 games will be priced at $20 or less.

    "We have a minimum amount of risk for a really substantial reward," Councilman Patrick Ryan said.

    City manager Jim Couch said the city would have about $2 million in expenses to recover, including about $1 million in game-day expenses, $500,000 in relocation costs including housing, $300,000 for office space and $200,000 for improvements to the arena.

    The city already has a Triple-A baseball team, the Oklahoma RedHawks, an arena football team and a minor-league hockey team.

    After the New Orleans Arena was damaged by the Aug. 29 hurricane, Cornett offered the Ford Center as a temporary home. Numerous other cities -- including San Diego, Las Vegas, Nashville, Tenn., and Kansas City, Mo. -- also made offers to host the team for the upcoming season, but Oklahoma City had what few others could offer -- a top-quality arena with few scheduling conflicts.

    The move also makes geographic sense. While Oklahoma City is more than 700 miles away from New Orleans, the Hornets' Southwest Division foes in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston won't have to trek far to play games here.

    Oklahoma City will be the Hornets' third home in five seasons. The team, which moved from Charlotte in 2002, ranked last in the league in attendance last season with an average of 14,221. [/b][/quote]

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    Cool, maybe I will go down there to watch an NBA game.

    Before, the closest NBA city to Springfield was Memphis. And actually, according to Mapquest, both OK City and Memphis are exactly 286 miles from here, but it takes nearly 6 hours to get to Memphis, whereas its only 4 hours to OKC- straight down I-44.
    “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

    Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

    Comment


    • #3
      And I still dont know why the NBA hates Missouri. St Louis and KC are two of the largest markets in the US without an NBA team
      “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

      Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

      Comment


      • #4
        Doesn't sound like STL even tried...

        Comment


        • #5
          QUOTE(Razzy @ Sep 21 2005, 11:55 AM) Quoted post

          And I still dont know why the NBA hates Missouri. St Louis and KC are two of the largest markets in the US without an NBA team
          [/b][/quote]
          STL didn't even try b/c the building ownership situation is in limbo...

          "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
          Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
          -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

          Comment


          • #6
            That explains it then. I am pretty sure that St Louis is the largest market, by a pretty good margin, without an NBA team. Seems almost comical that both New Orleans and Memphis have teams, and St Louis doesnt.

            I bet they stay in OKC permanently if they get good support there.
            “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

            Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

            Comment


            • #7
              QUOTE(Razzy @ Sep 21 2005, 12:00 PM) Quoted post

              That explains it then. I am pretty sure that St Louis is the largest market, by a pretty good margin, without an NBA team. Seems almost comical that both New Orleans and Memphis have teams, and St Louis doesnt.

              I bet they stay in OKC permanently if they get good support there.
              [/b][/quote]
              Shinn will just go where the money is....

              "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
              Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
              -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm happy about this news considering OKC is 2 hours from where I live. I just hope one of the 6 games that is being played at LSU isn't the Pacers. I'm thinking about getting a partial-ticket plan.
                In Construction

                (the move messed it up)

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