SBD/April 18, 2011/Franchises

Keeping The Rock: David Stern Says NBA Is Not Ready To Sell The Hornets

NBA working to resolve several issues with Hornets before looking to sell team
Four months since assuming ownership of the Hornets, the NBA "continues to work toward resolving issues it hopes will make the franchise more attractive to a local buyer," according to John Reid of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Although the league "has not had discussions with any potential local owner or groups," NBA Commissioner David Stern on Friday said that league officials "continue to receive inquires from people expressing interest." Stern: "When people call and express an interest, we say 'terrific, we’ll take you to a game, take you to a meal, and put you in the queue, so we can be ready to talk to you when we are ready for this asset to be sold.' We’re not pursuing local ownership at this time." He added, "The direction that Jac Sperling and Hugh Weber are taking is to make this team desirable for local ownership, or ownership that intends on keeping it in New Orleans." Reid noted the league also is "pushing a new marketing plan to help season-ticket sales reach 10,000 by next season." The Hornets had "fewer than 6,500 season-ticket holders this season" and ranked 26th in total attendance, but Stern said that they operated "within the budget proposed when they purchased the team, and actually improved a little bit." He added, "We need to increase attendance. But we are seeing some very good signs with respect to season-ticket sales." He noted that the team's new "I'm In" marketing campaign "has been successful, along with the push to attract sponsorships" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/17).
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New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, Franchises

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