Hornets Eye 10,000 Season-Ticket Mark To Entice Local Owner
Hornets Chair Jac Sperling yesterday said that it "could be difficult finding an owner willing to keep the franchise in New Orleans if the team does not reach 10,000 season-ticket holders for next season," according to John Reid of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Hoping to "meet the sales criteria, the Hornets will unveil an initiative today where current season-ticket holders and business partners will invite their friends, clients and business associates into their homes for social gatherings with hopes they will purchase tickets for the upcoming season." The initiative, called "I’m In, Are You?," will involve having "100 events in 100 days, with hopes the Hornets can up their current mark of just more than 8,000 season-ticket holders to 10,000 by Sept. 15." The Hornets "sold 6,300 season tickets this past season." Sperling said that if the season-ticket objective is met, it "would validate to a potential owner that the franchise is financially viable and a good investment." Sperling: "We want to find a local buyer to get them in place for next season. We need to get going with this. We need 10,000 season tickets as soon as possible." Sperling said that he has "had conversations with potential local buyers, whom he did not disclose." He said, "We are not focused on failing. We are focusing on how to succeed, and that’s why this program has been launched by our staff. I think it’s designed for success. I think it will succeed." Reid notes the summer months "usually don’t draw a high volume of ticket sales," but Sperling said that there "needs to be a sense of urgency." Sperling: "We can’t wait three or four months to address this issue if we’re interested in trying to find a local buyer" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 6/7).