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Hornets Sign Lease Extension With Opt-Out Tied To Attendance
Published January 10, 2008
|Hornets' New Lease Extension
Includes Opt-Out Clause
Shinn (l) Says Relocation Would Not Be First
Option If Attendance Threshold Not Met
MOVING EXPENSES: Weber added it would cost Shinn $100M, including the $62M due to Chouest, to relocate the team after the ’08-09 season. Weber: “You’re talking about a time period that’s very tight, where George would have to pull all this together, write a $100[M] check, and then relocate. It just doesn’t happen that way” (TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/10). But SPORTSBUSINESSRADIO.com’s Brian Berger wrote, “There are several eager groups out there who want NBA teams and the biggest challenge is getting a team out of its current lease agreement so the team can be moved.” If the Hornets opt out after ’08-09, “you can bet there will be buyers knocking on George Shinn's door offering to buy the team and make him whole” (SPORTSBUSINESSRADIO.com, 1/9). In Oklahoma City, Darnell Mayberry notes that if the NBA denies the Sonics’ relocation proposal due to the KeyArena lease legal battle, that “could open the door for the Hornets to return” to the city. Other possible relocation cites include K.C., Las Vegas or San Jose (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 1/10).
TIME TO RECIPROCATE: A TIMES-PICAYUNE editorial is written under the header, “Show Hornets The Love.” The Hornets and the NBA “have made a strong commitment to our recovery” by moving the team back full-time and awarding the city next month’s All-Star Game. Also, the club has the fifth-best record in the Western Conference and is “putting on a heck of a show on the court. … But fans have yet to show up in force, and it’s about time we start packing the arena” (TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/10).