Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents of southern Louisiana to buy Hornets tickets so that the debt-ridden franchise stays in New Orleans, The Times Picayune reports.Unless the Hornets average 14,883 fans over the next 12 home games the team can opt out of its lease agreement with Louisiana. New Orleans currently average 13,735 according to state audit figures, which ranks 29th in the league despite posting a 14-10 record behind superstar Chris Paul.
The NBA bought the Hornets from George Shinn last week for $300 million, while assuming nearly $100 million in debt. Shinn also lent the league $70 million to complete the sale. The team’s financial struggles, have led many to believe the NBA will seek a new home for the franchise, perhaps in Louisville or Seattle.
That’s why Jindal turned to local fans to buy tickets. “Really, their future is in our hands,” he said. “One of the things we can do in the short term is for our people to show up. We are asking the people in south Louisiana and the region to buy those tickets.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.