Here are the main points from the press conference:
As for now, it appears that the Governor is against using state funds or probably even allow tax credits to save the New Orleans Hornets but he is in favor of considering “creative ideas”. One idea he mentioned was New Orleans hosting the All-Star game.
Landrieu and Jindal appeared to want to project an image that the adjacent parishes would be working together to help solve the problem. Governor Jindal requested the parish presidents of St. Tammany, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Jefferson Parishes to speak in solidarity behind supporting the Hornets.
The first and most immediate goal for the government and the business community is to make sure that the attendance is above an approximate 14,800 per game for the next twelve games. Otherwise, it is possible for the Hornets to exercise an opt-out provision in the contract which would allow the team to leave.
Jindal, Landrieu and the business community would prefer that members of the local business community acquire the majority interest in the Hornets. One such member is Morris Bart, New Orleans attorney who has stated he wants to buy one-tenth of the team.
Below is a press release from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Governor Bobby Jindal:
Governor Jindal said, “We had a great meeting with the Mayor and New Orleans business and community leaders. We all agreed that the top priority is to get Hornets fans to buy as many tickets as possible over the next 12 home games to pack the Arena and keep our team right here at home. We are calling on everyone in New Orleans and throughout the state to get out here and support our team over the next month.
“Under the current contract, the team will have the entire month of February to decide if they want to continue with the lease or opt out, if the attendance goal is not met. That is why we must drive attendance up and meet this goal. We want to keep our basketball team right here at home and we need everyone’s help for that. Everyone in New Orleans, everyone across our state and around the country who loves New Orleans – we need your help to pack the arena.”
Mayor Landrieu said, “As someone who was involved in bringing the Hornets to New Orleans in 2002, I remain committed to keeping the team here for good and have reiterated our city's unwavering support for the franchise to Commissioner Stern. The Hornets and the NBA have been true community partners, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent staging of the 2008 All Star Game in New Orleans. I will continue work with Governor Jindal to engage the local business community and others on strategies to keep the Hornets located in New Orleans for the long term. Now, we must rally as a community to show our support for a team that has been an integral component of our city's revival.”
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