It appears the New Orleans Hornets will be staying put for the near future. The Hornets have agreed to a new lease with the state of Louisiana that will extend through the 2024 season, the franchise announced in a press release on Friday afternoon. The agreement in principle is subject to the team being sold, which has been in the works for some time.
The new agreement includes funding for upgrades to the New Orleans Arena and has no exit clauses until 2024, the press release announced. The city has also been guaranteed to host at least one all-star game between now and 2024.
"We appreciate the strong support the Hornets enjoy in New Orleans and throughout the State of Louisiana," NBA Commissioner David Stern said in the release. "Today's announcement is an important and necessary step toward reaching an agreement with a new owner."
SB Nation's Hornets blog At The Hive is thrilled by the news.
This is a good day for the Hornets, their fans, and the City. This was a big step to putting all of this mess behind us. Once the sale is complete, we can go back to being a normal terrible basketball team. I, for one, can't wait to not see "league-owned" in front of every mention of the team. A big puzzle piece is in place, and it could be moving fast from here. Stay tuned. Geaux Hornets.
For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.