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.


  1. edbballin504

    March 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    What type of upgrades/changes do you expect to see in the interior? What do you think happens with the $10 mill available in 2013?

    • Jason Calmes

      March 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      I expect my seat to be a throne.

      • da ThRONe

        March 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

        “You rang?”

  2. Vic Welker

    March 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Looks like a great deal for the state and so, so deal for the Hornets. The onus is put on the Hornets to be successful in terms of generating revenue which the state gets a share of. Who has agreed to the deal? What I read is that there is no agreement. The only entity that can agree at this time is the NBA, but they will not sign on pending not having an owner in place. Like the deal for the state. Nice job Bobby.

    • Jason Calmes

      March 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      I will have numbers for you in more detail than here in the coming hours and days.

      If you have requests, request. I’ll do my best.

  3. sweetpea

    March 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    “This is neither the beginning nor the end” a wise man once said.

    On my amateur reading we still have at least five hurdles to …. hurdle??? …. before we can breath easy (until 2024) Legislature must agree, arena owner must agree, current “owner” must agree, eventual owner must agree, current “owner” and eventual owner must agree to actual sale based in large part on lease.

    I know we’ve exchanged posts about this before, but I’m assuming as current “owners” the Board of Governors, or the owners as a complete body, still must agree to approve both lease and then later sale, to both pieces of paper that is, over a certain percentage of the total vote. I assume Jindal and arena owenrs have their ducks all in a row, because it sounds like the deal is good for the state …. I’ll be very very interested to see how this plays out among new owners (especially if its the Dunleavy/Benson group) and current “owners” … whether there’s enough sugar plums in this particular bucket to please them all sufficently that is, and to be comfortable with locking in to city (as owners and as league) for next 12 years

    • Jason Calmes

      March 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      I’m writing up the first up the clarifications.

      I will clarificatify this in that.


      • sweetpea

        March 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm

        Antartic cool, my man.

        Gotta take care of some family bidness this evening; look forward to your expostulations either tonight, late night … or tomorrow morning, early morning, when the birds and groundhogs and such start stirring.

  4. Okithor

    March 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Your news brightens my day 42! Horent’s brass commence with the throne.

  5. da ThRONe

    March 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I’m ready for some lucky owner to make me an honest fan! 😀

  6. J

    March 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Whats Happening!!!!! Raj Hey Hey Hey lol

    • Jason Calmes

      March 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      If he buys the team, will you change from J to Rerun?

      Please say yes.

      Please please please say yes.

      • J

        March 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm

        Yes and do a breakdance number too

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.