Hornets to play in Oklahoma City in 2006-07 season
NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today that
the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will return to the Ford Center in
Oklahoma City to play 35 home games during the 2006-07 regular season. The
Hornets will play six regular season games at the New Orleans Arena.
“While the NBA and the Hornets remain committed to returning to New
Orleans, we have agreed with Louisiana and SMG officials that, for now, our
collective interests are best served by having the team play the bulk of
its 2006-07 schedule in Oklahoma City,” Stern said. “However, we are
hopeful that the team will be in a position to return to New Orleans full
time beginning in the 2007-08 season.”
In addition, Stern announced that the league will enter exclusive
negotiations with city and state officials to hold the 2008 NBA All Star
Game in New Orleans.
“From everything we have seen and heard, we have little doubt that New
Orleans will soon regain its place among the world’s premiere cities for
hosting major sporting events,” Stern said. “Therefore, I have committed
to Governor Blanco that we will immediately begin exclusive negotiations
with her representatives to bring the NBA’s signature event, the 2008 All
Star Game, to New Orleans.”
“The agreement reached today will ensure the Hornets’ stability while the
New Orleans market fully recovers and, at the same time, maintains our
presence in the NBA,” Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said.
“The permanent identity of New Orleans as an NBA city is important to the
image and the economy of our entire region.”
“My personal thanks go to Governor Blanco, officials in Louisiana and the
NBA for their assistance in agreeing to a good solution for the upcoming
season,” Hornets owner George Shinn said.
Stern also announced that in January 2007, New Orleans will serve as the
host city for the NBA’s mid-year marketing meetings – the largest annual
gathering of NBA league and team officials.
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