If by tonight’s game, the New Orleans Hornets hadn’t averaged 14,735 fans per home game, they’d be granted the option to terminate their lease with Louisiana and seek relocation.The chances of reaching that threshold appeared bleak in early December and local politicians, began urging residents and businesses to buy tickets, lest they lose their professional basketball team.
That initiative was successful, according to the Times-Picayune. The Hornets attendance has surged in recent weeks, capped by an 18,023 sellout crowd this Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve sold enough tickets to tonight’s game to clinch the 14,735 average, and New Orleans will keep the Hornets until at least 2014.
While all’s well that end’s well, this saga is far from over. The NBA, which recently purchased the Hornets, and rejected a bid from Larry Ellison, told the Times-Picayune that it is still investigating the long-term viability of New Orleans for a basketball franchise. The franchise must experience sustained revenue growth to remain in the Crescent City.
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