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Old 04-09-2010, 04:58 AM   #4
Copperhead
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Default Re: Shinn selling to Chouest?

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Possible sale of New Orleans Hornets by George Shinn looms

Peter Vecsey of the New York Post first broached the subject publicly. For the past month or so, rumors have been floating about the future of George Shinn as principal owner of the New Orleans Hornets.

As a responsible journalist, it is imperative to sift through fact, fiction, partial truth and innuendo. In this situation, there were quite a bit of all of these factors involved in the prospective story.

Multiple sources state that Shinn is on the verge of selling the team to minority owner Gary Chouest, a south Louisiana native and resident who became part of the ownership structure in 2007 when he purchased 25 percent of the team from Shinn.

If true, the move would be a good one. According to several sources we have spoken to, Chouest has the finances necessary to support the costly burden of operating an NBA franchise. He is from these parts, virtually guaranteeing that the franchise would remain here on a long-term basis beyond the expiration of the current lease which has always been a concern.

The current lease between the Hornets and the state of Louisiana was extended through the end of the 2013-2014 season back in January of 2008. The team reached a prescribed attendance benchmark of 14,735 per game in April of 2008. The team recently completed a two-year period for measuring attendance in February.

The Hornets have averaged 15,054 fans per game for 40 dates this season, placing them 23rd in the NBA. In the 2008-2009 season, the Hornets averaged 16,968 fans per game, ranking New Orleans 19th in the league in average home attendance among the 30 NBA teams.

Curiously, both Shinn and Chouest were absent from Wednesday night’s 104-103 loss to Charlotte at New Orleans Arena. Perhaps they are laying low. Perhaps they were avoiding media. Perhaps it was coincidental.

http://www.neworleans.com/sports/spo...inn-looms.html
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