An Open Letter to Morris Bart

Published: December 9, 2010

Mr. Bart,

I know you frequent the blog so I figured this was a good place to post this letter.  I have read how you would like to be a part of a new ownership group for your beloved NEW ORLEANS Hornets.  I share that desire, yet sadly I do not have the impressive assets you do that would allow such a desire to be fulfilled.  In the copious amounts of reading I have done since the NBA began discussions on the buy out of Mr. Shinn, one thing has stuck out as the most important step we as fans could take to save our team, deny the league the attendance based opt out clause.

Now I know you already spend a very, very large amount of money on the Hornets.  However, if you would like to be able to buy into the Hornets one day wouldn’t it seem like a wise use of some of your money to help end the opt out?  So, as an equally passionate NEW ORLEANS Hornets fan I would like to ask for your help.  I know you will remember back in the lean days for the Saints, nearly every home game was under threat of a blackout.  So generous and passionate corporations and business leaders in our community would step up and buy large blocks of tickets to ensure a “sold out” game just for the community’s sake.  These business leaders understood that during tough times, the poor ticket sales weren’t due to lack of love and desire for the Saint’s product, but were a storm that needed to be ridden out.

This effort and love for the community was done just so people could watch the games, not save the team and keep them in NOLA where they belong like a similar effort would be with the Hornets.  As a quick look at Ticketmaster available seats shows a couple hundred seats per home game under $12 per seat and a thousand or more under $20 a seat, it made me hope for a NOLA business leader that would step up and take a page out of the Saints support handbook and gobble up those available cheap seats on game day.  I am not asking that you do this on your own, though it would be nice; I am asking that you find other like-minded leaders to team up with fans to make this happen.  I personally am giving all I can which is around 4 seats a game.  There are others, many out of state, on this site that would be willing to do so as well.

We just all want to ensure that the bidding war can’t begin because all these outside bidders see that $10 million buyout as their golden ticket to an NBA franchise in their city of choice.  Please help us get this done.  Let’s show the NBA and this country of naysayers that we will not be pushed aside.

Thanks for your time.


Christopher Price

This post was submitted by TopherPrice.


  1. 42

    December 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Yes, Mr. Bart, you can do so much for us.

    You know folks who are as capable as yourself.

    You are respected enough in the community to help residents understand the situation clearly.

    You are challenge residents to perform and match their performance on some level.

    You can can do more than lead the team . . . you can lead the fans.

    The #1 fan, if you will.

  2. Morris Bart

    December 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Chris – read your open letter and totally agree. In fact, I am launching a promotion for the December 22nd game against New Jersey where you can get $10 off an $18 or more ticket. This promotion will appear a day or two before the game on, and will be a text blast to the 4,000 people on my Mo Bart text campaign list.

    I also plan on buying hundreds of tickets and donating them local schools to try and fill up seats in the arena. On Monday, I will be at a closed meeting with Governor Jindal, Mayor Landrieu, and other business leaders to try to save the Hornets. I will encourage the business leaders at that meeting to step up and buy lots of tickets that can be donated to the community.

    I’m also willing to put up my money and buy 10% of the team. Many other well qualified investors have contacted me and they are willing to put up their money too.

    But its not enough. Here’s what we need to keep the Hornets in New Orleans:

    1. Fans!
    2. Fans!
    3. Fans!

    Lets not give up our team without a fight! See you at the hive…

    Morris Bart

    • 42

      December 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks, Morris.

      I am of the opinion that Champions Square and it’s evolution into a every night sports and entertainment destination would benefit greatly from the team’s presence, and likewise the team will benefit, perhaps through new revenue that will not interfere with already committed funds for healthcare, education, sacred cows, etc.

      I’m sure others feel the same way, but I just feel like we need to get all our ideas out there.

      Thanks for everything you’ll do to help us,


    • Caleb

      December 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks for your efforts Morris! You rock!

  3. TopherPrice

    December 10, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Mr. Bart,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my letter. Also, thank you for all that you do to support the Hornets and basketball in our community. I am very happy to hear that you will be doing what you can to help us keep the Hornets in New Orleans. I know that with help from business leaders like yourself, the general fans, and from groups like we can get past the treat of the opt out clause and move onto building broader more complete fan support.

    I do agree that in the end we fan support is the only way this team will be a viable business venture for any future investors. I am confident that the low numbers at this time are less about the area being unable and unwilling to support the Hornets, and is more about things like confidence in the future of the team and football taking precedence during the pre-January months. I am of the opinion that it will take time for a new sports team to root itself into the psyche of a community. And if we are being honest, the Hornets have never had more than 3 uninterrupted years in our community to start to make those inroads in the hearts and minds of the casual fans. I think if the Hornets are given time and is seen as a team with roots here, like being owned by local business leaders like yourself, we will see the kind of fan turnout year in and year out we saw during the 07-08 season. It’s hard to keep support for a team that is under constant threat of being moved out of town.

    Since you mentioned the meeting on Monday with representatives of the State, please mention the following. If the state is set to have to pay a penalty fee of around $6 million dollars if the Hornets don’t meet certain ticket sales numbers, wouldn’t it seem like a good budget practice for the State to spend any amount less than that penalty to avoid the penalty. It really wouldn’t be “new spending” on the Hornets, but money that was going to come out of the State’s coffers anyway. I know it is complicated, but it seems like something that might save both the Hornets from getting an opt out AND save the state some money.

    Again, thank you very much for all you and your friends are doing to help the rest of the fans of the Hornets. It is proof that our state has the necessary corporate support to be a viable market. I know the fans will come in droves over the next couple months, until then I and many other who cannot attend but are willing to spend money on tickets will fill the seats as best we can via the foundation.

    If you can, please keep us informed post the Monday meeting.

    Christopher Price

  4. James Grayson

    December 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Mr. Bart,

    From an international fan I’d just like to say thank you for all your hard work. It’s good to know there are people passionate about keeping the Hornets in NOLA at all costs.

    I’d love to see a big crowd at the Thunder game tonight, but I’m not holding my breath in anticipation…

    Go Hornets!

  5. Hornet Seantonio

    December 10, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks MO!

  6. Thornton's Thunder

    December 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Mr. Bart, we really appreciate your efforts as it’s quite obvious you are doing all you can to help keep our Hornets in the Crescent City. As a true Hornets Fan, I not only read what you have written, I hear what your are saying, but just as important, I SEE YOU in the Hive. That, Mr. Bart, speaks volumes of who you are. I share your thoughts, and we will continue to do what we can to bring otheres to the hive. We are there each and every game, and look forward to our future with those guys we see fighting each and every night to bring a championship to our gret city. Thanks once again for all that you do! You have set the tone and we can all only hope that others like yourself will follow! We appreciate you!!!!

  7. Morris Bart

    December 20, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Thorton’s Thunder,

    We’re starting to make progress on the fan support front. Various business groups have purchased $300,000 of tickets to use on slow nights. I personally pledged $25,000.

    Let’s keep packing the Hive. Only 10 more games to show the NBA, and the rest of America, that we support the Hornets and our team deserves to stay in New Orleans!

    Best wishes to everyone for the holidays!

    • 42

      December 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

      Mr. Bart,

      Your dedication to the team is commendable and deeply appreciated.

      Also, your communication with us here is also deeply appreciated.

      Thanks for all you have done, all you are doing, and all you trying to get done.

    • TopherPrice

      December 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you so much for all you are doing. I think an ownership group built around you and men like Mr. Chouest will be a huge benefit for this organization and the area as a whole. People with your dedication to the Hornets are what the city needs.

      I, as all of us who frequent, will keep pounding the pavement trying to drum up support in the next few weeks and beyond. I know we can get past this initial threat and move onto bigger and better things like a local ownership group.

      Thanks again for the time and energy, both on the Hornets front and interacting with us here on the blog.

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