SBD/March 15, 2011/Franchises

State Of Louisiana Expected To Make $7M Payment To Hornets

Jindal yesterday attended the launch of the Hornets' new marketing campaign
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal yesterday said that the state "expects to make a payment of just more than $7 million to the Hornets because the franchise isn’t projected to meet the benchmark revenue requirement in its lease agreement," according to John Reid of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. The Hornets in January "surpassed the attendance benchmark average of 14,735, a requirement in their lease agreement with the state." But there also is a "revenue benchmark included in the team’s amended lease agreement that stipulates the state will have to pay the Hornets’ inducements not exceeding $7.5 million at the end of this season if the team doesn’t gross" at least $43.6M, which is 80% of their "gross revenue for all potential ticket sales." The state and the Hornets "continue to have informal talks to come up with possible revenue streams that could make the franchise profitable for a new buyer." Jindal was in New Orleans yesterday to "attend the launching of the Hornets’ new marketing campaign, called 'I’m In,' to meet their possible target of reaching at least 10,000" season-ticket holders next season. The campaign "will include television and radio commercials, billboards, newspaper and online advertisement featuring celebrities, community and business leaders," such as Saints QB Drew Brees, musician Kermit Ruffins, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Archbishop Gregory Aymond. The Hornets as part of the campaign are "offering a season ticket package that allows fans to buy two tickets in the balcony and get two free or fans can put down an initial payment for any other seat location and receive all regular season home games next month for free" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/15).
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