Here’s something to keep your eye on throughout the NBA season: If the New Orleans Hornets’ average home attendance dips below 14,750, the State of Louisiana owes them $6.8 million.It’s all part of a contract the two parties entered to ensure the city could support the Hornets’ return from a brief, Katrina-induced hiatus to Oklahoma City.
At their home opener last night, the Hornets attracted just 15,039 fans, which is already below their average for all of last season.
Considering openers generally outpace season-long attendance, it seems entirely possible that this season’s numbers fall below the threshold.
Unfortunately, Louisiana has a $2 billion deficit and a measly $6M won’t make a dent in the $800 million the NBA says it wants to cut from its budgets. Perhaps, that’s why the Hornets are rumoured to be among the candidates for contraction.
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