Hornets and Louisiana Discuss Terms of New Orleans Arena Lease Through 2023-2024 Season

Published: March 16, 2012

The Hornets franchise looks to stay in New Orleans for 12 more years.

What was first reported by the Times-Picayune today has come to pass, sort of.

The New Orleans Hornets and the State of Louisiana have finalized the proposed lease of the New Orleans Arena through the 2023-2024 Season. It has not been approved, but it has been `crystallized’ so that the potential owners have defined terms with which to work. All relevant parties, owners of the team and Arena aside, see this lease as good for all parties and have high confidence the two sets of owners (team and Arena) will agree to the lease. The owner must agree to the lease for it to take effect, and the potential owner must agree to agree to lease to be able to buy the team.

Here are the highlights from the Hornets media session on the subject:

  • Through 2023-2024 Season
  • No escape clause (e.g. Attendance Benchmarks that appeared in Amendment 2). “Benchmark will be eliminated from our vocabulary.”
  • $41m capital bond issue to eliminate state subsidies to the team, plus $8m already committed
  • $70m in State savings
  • No new taxes
  • Purchaser is buying a team that has already agreed to the lease
  • Two offseasons to complete Arena upgrades
  • $10m available at the option of the team in 2013 for additional upgrades to the Arena or practice facility
  • Promise of an All-Star Game during the lease period
  • The bills to cover this have not been filed or voted on
  • Look and branding of Arena will change, exterior will remain the same but may have more digital media, lighting etc.
  • Improvements are revenue generating and fan-experience focused
  • “I’m In” becomes “I’m In for Good”
  • Discussions are active, ongoing, and frequent with “two” groups
  • Ownership announcement is weeks away. Effective sale even later.

Analyses detailed enough to cause abdominal spasms of both the exciting bits and the boring ones will follow.

This is neither the beginning nor the end.

For now, enjoy.


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