||06-13-2012 10:57 PM
NBA approves sale of Hornets to Benson
The NBA Board of Governors on Wednesday approved the sale of the New Orleans Hornets to Tom Benson, the league announced.
The sale will be officially closed later this week. The Hornets are expected to make an official announcement concerning Benson's take-over on Thursday.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed off on the state's capital outlay bill, which included nearly $60 million for improvements to New Orleans Arena, as well as on the extension of the Quality Jobs Tax Credit, both elements which were critical in the agreement the state had with the Hornets to extend the lease in the Arena through 2024.
According to sources with knowledge of the process, the NBA has been gathering votes all week from the 29 other Board of Governors' representatives, a formality which can officially consummate the transfer of ownership from the league, which purchased the team in Dec. 2010 to Benson.
On April 13, Benson, who also owns the New Orleans 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 in the Arena, which will eliminate state subsidies of potentially $7 to $8 million annually to assist the Hornets financially.
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