Sale of New Orleans Hornets to Tom Benson is now officialPosted by Inside Hoops
The purchase of the New Orleans Hornets by Tom Benson was completed today after having been approved by the National Basketball Association’s Board of Governors. Tom Benson is now officially the new owner of the New Orleans Hornets.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “On April 13, Benson, who also owns the Saints, signed an agreement to purchase the Hornets from the NBA for $338 million. In the intervening months, the legislature debated, and eventually included, capital improvement funding for the arena, which will eliminate state subsidies of potentially $7 million to $8 million annually to assist the Hornets financially, money the team received under terms of the existing lease in the event certain financial levels were not achieved.”
In conjunction with the finalization of the ownership transaction, the Hornets’ lease extension with the State has been approved by Governor Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana legislature. The extension will keep the Hornets in New Orleans long term, as well as provide funding for upgrades to the New Orleans Arena. The agreement also included the elimination of all exit options, attendance benchmarks, and financial inducements.
The announcement of the finalization of the sale comes on the heels of the Hornets receiving the #1 pick, as well as the #10 pick, in the 2012 NBA Draft on June 28. In April, it was announced that New Orleans will be the host city for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.
“I’m thrilled to have become the owner of the Hornets,” Benson said. “There is a lot of excitement in the region about the franchise, especially after winning the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. We have been successful with the Saints and I know we can translate that success to our NBA team as well. We have the best, most dedicated fans in the world and will need them along the way as we work as an organization to make them proud. Championship performance is tied to fan support and the passion of the New Orleans sports fan is second to none. We look forward to joining up with all of our valued current fans and also introducing this great team game to many more residents of our city and region.”