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Committee To Be Announced Next Week Regarding Hornets' Move
Published January 23, 2002
NBA Senior Dir of Sports Media Relations Tim Frank said that the committee of NBA owners that will evaluate the Hornets' application to move to New Orleans "will be announced next week," according to John Reid of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Frank added that the group of five-to-seven owners "likely would have its first meeting after" the NBA's February 8-10 All-Star Weekend in Philadelphia. The committee is expected to evaluate fan support, population base, median income, the TV market and quality of the arena. The committee also will evaluate the same criteria for the city of Charlotte to determine if there is a reason to relocate (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/23). Meanwhile, LA State Rep. Steve Scalise said that he will file legislation at the April 29 session to abolish a $4.2M "slush fund" that New Orleans lawmakers receive for a variety of hand-picked programs, and use the money to "help bring" the Hornets to the New Orleans Arena. Scalise: "It is time to get rid of this slush fund and use the money to close the deal with the Hornets." Scalise's bill would require that the money go to the Department of Economic Development to help finance tourism, sports, economic development and recreation programs. The money comes from part of the 1% hotel-motel tax collected in New Orleans that generates about $7.5M annually (TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/23).
ICE TIME: WCNC-NBC's Sonja Gantt reported Hornets co-Owners Ray Wooldridge and George Shinn "appear ready to sell" the ECHL Charlotte Checkers. NASCAR team Owner Felix Sabates "tells (WCNC-NBC) that he is interested in putting in a bid. Sabates says he and ... (former Hornets GM) Carl Scheer want to buy the team, but they won't pay the price that Shinn and Wooldridge are asking" (WCNC-NBC, 1/22).