View Full Version : Problem they never had in NOLA



Patrick
05-31-2006, 03:22 PM
Hornets, City at odds over revenue

By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City and partners backing the NBA Hornets’ relocation to the Ford Center will reap a $700,000 profit, a team official said Tuesday. But documents reviewed by The Oklahoman show some city officials think the figure might be even higher.
Records show that as of April, the team’s total revenue was estimated at $41.9 million.

Michael Thompson, team spokesman, said the $700,000 due to the city and its partners was calculated from a third-party audit completed through the National Basketball Association. The $700,000 is in addition to reimbursement of relocation expenses fronted by the city.

City officials aren’t ready to accept or deny the $700,000 - which both sides agree represent a rare instance of a professional team paying proceeds back to its hosting city.

The proposed payment represents what was called the “upside” of a guarantee the city, along with a partnership led by local businessman Clay Bennett and the Oklahoma Capital Investment Board, made to pay the Hornets up to $10 million if the team failed to at least match revenues in its last season in New Orleans.

“It’s unique,” Thompson said, laughing. “This doesn’t really happen. The city and local businesses took a risk and it paid off in many ways, not just financially, but also in publicity for the city and state.”

Tom Anderson, a management specialist who represents the city in its negotiations with the team, said the city isn’t convinced whether $700,000 is all that is due.

The contract between the two sides gives the city 30 days to review the Hornets’ financial records after the team’s recent report, and to do its own audit of the team’s performance. Partners will have another 10 days to reject or accept the team’s estimates.

While Anderson wouldn’t comment on negotiations with the team, records reviewed by The Oklahoman show some estimates by the city indicating a difference of up to $3 million in what could be split as profits between the team, the city and its partners.

“There is no doubt we’ll be in a revenue-producing situation for the city,” Anderson said. “What it will be has yet to be determined.”

Anderson said the city will use the accounting firm Grant Thornton to review the Hornets’ records and how the team arrived at the $700,000.

Records meanwhile show months of disagreement between city officials and the team over what is to be considered revenues, the benchmark for what qualified as matching performance for the prior season and what records the city is entitled to review.

Thompson said the audit used by the team was typical of those required for every franchise at the end of each season.

“The salary cap for the next season is determined by the basketball revenues,” Thompson said. “It’s in the team’s and players’ best interest for a third party to look at the books.”

Records show the city and team at odds over the following issues:

Brice Collier, the team’s chief financial officer, takes issue with a Dec. 7, 2005, e-mail to Anderson with the financial information requested by the city.

“It comes across to me as somewhat adversarial the continued questioning of the local revenue benchmark,” Collier said.

The team announced it would donate ticket proceeds from a Jan. 18 game, originally scheduled for Baton Rouge but moved to Ford Center, to charities in New Orleans. A Feb. 2 e-mail from Ford Center General Manager Gary Desjardins to team president Paul Mott indicates the two sides disagree over whether part of the concessions for the Jan. 18 game should have covered game-day expenses.

In a follow-up e-mail on Feb. 4, Desjardins indicates the two sides disagree over how to count two preseason games at the Ford Center, and comments “this appears to be the start of the Hornets strategy to reduce as much of the local revenue as possible and limit how much revenue may be due the city at the conclusion of the season.”

In a Feb. 17 e-mail, Anderson informs Desjardins the Hornets’ estimates could result in about $3 million less to be split between the team, the city and its partners.

http://newsok.com/article/1858542/?template=sports/main (http://newsok.com/article/1858542/?template=sports/main)

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 03:35 PM
First, you guys have never had a major league team. The newness will fade off for next season.

Second, the Hornets won some games last year. When they were in our city they did lousy. If they did that lousy in OKC they wouldn't have support either.

mranderson
05-31-2006, 03:45 PM
actually, you can not say if the Hornets would drop attendance if they were not winning. Many cities draw regardless of the win/loss record. Plus, for the "big four" we ARE an untapped market. We have had a major league before... The AFL, and they drew VERY well while they were here.

Saying we would not draw is like saying there is oil on the Moon. We do not know... It too is untapped.

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 03:47 PM
You are drawing well right now because NBA is new to your market. Look at OU. When they're winning, you have fans there. When they're losing, nobody shows up.

We supported them pretty well considering the win/loss record we had.

BDP
05-31-2006, 03:48 PM
The newness will fade off for next season.

Is that what happened in NO... the first year?


When they were in our city they did lousy.

They did better than OKC. They went to the playoffs. Oh, if you mean in support, then, yeah, you're right.

Look, I'm happy for you guys and feel free to post information here if you want. But don't come to this board and pollute it with your HRreport/okchornetscentral schoolyard drivel. There's already enough boards for bitches on the internet.

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 03:52 PM
Is that what happened in NO... the first year?

No, they started losing. If they start losing in Oklahoma City, attendance will drop off like it does at Sooners games.

We know how to support professional sports. Look at the Saints. You guys have proved nothing.




They did better than OKC. They went to the playoffs. Oh, if you mean in support, then, yeah, you're right.

Look, I'm happy for you guys and feel free to post information here if you want. But don't come to this board and pollute it with your HRreport/okchornetscentral schoolyard drivel. There's already enough boards for bitches on the internet.

I'm offended. Mostly I'm offended that you guys from Oklahoma City have no respect for the fact that the Hornets belong to New Orleans, not Oklahoma City.

BDP
05-31-2006, 03:52 PM
When they're winning, you have fans there. When they're losing, nobody shows up

Why? Why are bringing this crap here?

OU drew over 80k last year, even after losing in September. They averaged over 65k when they were losing more than 5 games a year.

Quit trying to validate the New Orleans market with making crap up and specious claptrap. You wouldn't think a viable market would need to do that crap, but apparently you feel it does. I guess it's worse off than I thought.

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 03:56 PM
Why? Why are bringing this crap here?

This is an Oklahoma City message board and you support the theives. And I have a right to post here.


OU drew over 80k last year, even after losing in September. They averaged over 65k when they were losing more than 5 games a year.

Exactly. 65K. Big drop off. You didn't support the Sooners when they were losing. At least we averaged 14K a game when the Hornets only won 18 games. Our arena only seats 17K. That's better than what you would do.


Quit trying to validate the New Orleans market with making crap up and specious claptrap. You wouldn't think a viable market would need to do that crap, but apparently you feel it does. I guess it's worse off than I thought.

We've already proven ourselves. We sold out the games earlier this year in New Orleans. Standing room only.

BDP
05-31-2006, 03:59 PM
Mostly I'm offended that you guys from Oklahoma City have no respect for the fact that the Hornets belong to New Orleans, not Oklahoma City.

What the hell are you talking about? You come on here and, INSTANTLY, in your first posts, start attacking OKC. What the hell for? WHO insulted you? You're intent was clearly to offend from the outset, so stop being such a whiner.

And you have no idea what will happen in OKC if the team does poorly. Unforatunetly, we and the Hornets know EXACTLY what happens in NO if they struggle and nothing you say about OKC will change track record of fan support in NO. You have to be smart enought to know that.

They are the New Orleans hornets and they are going back there if the market will support it. EVERYONE knows it, but when you come here and make crap up, people will correct you.

BDP
05-31-2006, 04:06 PM
This is an Oklahoma City message board and you support the theives.

You don't know what I support or what anyone here supports. You have a right to be here and I have a right to point out when you're being an ignorant dick.


Exactly. 65K. Big drop off. You didn't support the Sooners when they were losing. At least we averaged 14K a game when the Hornets only won 18 games. Our arena only seats 17K. That's better than what you would do.

Memorial stadium held 72k at the time. That's a 10% drop. 17k to 14k is a 17% drop. So if OU's drop was big, NO's was over 50% bigger. And the people were actually there, not just tickets sold.


We've already proven ourselves. We sold out the games earlier this year in New Orleans. Standing room only.

Yeah, but the team was winning. We all KNOW that it wouldn't have been that way if they had only won a handful of games. That you had proven last year.

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 04:12 PM
Attendance always drops off when you're not winning. You guys are an OU football town. When the Hornets start doing bad, everyone will flock to the OU football games.

Regardless of whether you can support the team or not, the team belongs to New Orleans. Quit using a tragedy to steal from us.


They are the New Orleans hornets and they are going back there if the market will support it. EVERYONE knows it, but when you come here and make crap up, people will correct you.


Exactly. Thanks for agreeing. And I hope your city ends up with nothing for the way they've treated the people in Orleans.

Luke
05-31-2006, 04:18 PM
Don't respond to the cage rattler and he goes away or gets banned.

I read one erroneous post by this guy, read another that had a "tone" to it and decided to skip over the rest of his comments. I recommend everyone else do the rest.

Unless he, like others who have opposing viewpoints, can come across with valid points using logic and respect, he doesn't deserve to be responded to.

BDP
05-31-2006, 04:27 PM
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Attendance always drops off when you're not winning. You guys are an OU football town. When the Hornets start doing bad, everyone will flock to the OU football games.

Regardless of whether you can support the team or not, the team belongs to New Orleans. Quit using a tragedy to steal from us.

Dude, you are pathetic. The city of New Orleans doesn't deserve trash like you.

The fact is that OU was doing poorly and on a day when OU, OSU, and the Hornets played, OU and the Hornets sold out and OSU almost did.


Thanks for agreeing.

No one WAS disagreeing with you about the Hornets being New Orleans team, douche bag. But you top it off with made up crap about OU and OKC and talk of "stealing" a team because of a tragedy and, of course, people are going to disagree with that bullsh!t.

Man, I feel really sorry for you. So sad. Hey, I'm sorry that the Hornets had better support in OKC than they ever did in New Orleans, that's not our fault. I'm sorry that they guy who has millions invested is tempted by the riches he see in OKC. I am sorry for the hardships that have befallen New Orleans. I truly am, but an ahole is an ahole no matter what they've been through and that is what you're being here today with your posts on this board.

Seriously, I hope you get over it and can live a normal life again soon. But I wish New Orleans even better and hope that it can recover from its real problems and be an even greater city.

BDP
05-31-2006, 04:30 PM
he doesn't deserve to be responded to.

You're right. I didn't want to see this place go the way of the other boards, but I guess my posts just add to it...

sorry about that

OklaCity_75
05-31-2006, 04:35 PM
The the thing Hornet is not looking at is the fact the New Orleans plans are only on paper.

Politicians promises are never worth their weight in gold.

We all know the public never sees many things that are on paper.

What happens if the city cannot afford to invest the money because of another disaster?

What if an investor backs out at the last minute?

We in Oklahoma City know to never hold your breath about anything. We are always excitied about new things happening in our city. At same time we stay grounded enough so that were not terribly disappointed when somehting never happens.

For all we know George Shinn may have something happen that causes him to sell the team.

For all we know a group of investors from Vegas may give Shinn an offer he cannot refuse and move the team there.

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 05:53 PM
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Dude, you are pathetic. The city of New Orleans doesn't deserve trash like you.

I think you're violating the forum rules here.


The fact is that OU was doing poorly and on a day when OU, OSU, and the Hornets played, OU and the Hornets sold out and OSU almost did.

OU was not doing poorly. They went to the Holiday Bowl and won. I don't call that poorly. I call not having a winning season poorly. And back in the 1980's when you were having losing seasons, support was poor.



No one WAS disagreeing with you about the Hornets being New Orleans team, douche bag. But you top it off with made up crap about OU and OKC and talk of "stealing" a team because of a tragedy and, of course, people are going to disagree with that bullsh!t.

Many in your city are trying to steal the Hornets. Why else would your city leaders be coming up with a long term strategy to keep the Hornets? Your friends over on HornetsCentral continually say that they hope the Hornets stay in Oklahoma City.

And it's true. OU fans left in the 80's. Support was horrible.


Man, I feel really sorry for you. So sad. Hey, I'm sorry that the Hornets had better support in OKC than they ever did in New Orleans, that's not our fault. I'm sorry that they guy who has millions invested is tempted by the riches he see in OKC. I am sorry for the hardships that have befallen New Orleans. I truly am, but an ahole is an ahole no matter what they've been through and that is what you're being here today with your posts on this board.

George Shinn is a creap. The minute you start not supporting the team, he'll just move them from OKC. Mark my word.

I'm not being an a-hole. I'm being honest.


Seriously, I hope you get over it and can live a normal life again soon. But I wish New Orleans even better and hope that it can recover from its real problems and be an even greater city.

I'm living a normal life, but without my Hornets, because your city has stolen them.

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 05:55 PM
You're right. I didn't want to see this place go the way of the other boards, but I guess my posts just add to it...

sorry about that

The other boards like HornetsReport censor their message. You like censorship better? I think you just don't like to face the music.

NOLAHornet
05-31-2006, 05:57 PM
The the thing Hornet is not looking at is the fact the New Orleans plans are only on paper.

Politicians promises are never worth their weight in gold.

We all know the public never sees many things that are on paper.

What happens if the city cannot afford to invest the money because of another disaster?

What if an investor backs out at the last minute?

We in Oklahoma City know to never hold your breath about anything. We are always excitied about new things happening in our city. At same time we stay grounded enough so that were not terribly disappointed when somehting never happens.

For all we know George Shinn may have something happen that causes him to sell the team.

For all we know a group of investors from Vegas may give Shinn an offer he cannot refuse and move the team there.

What if, what if. What if George Shinn honors the contract he signed, and is ethical and moves back to New Orleans where he committed to play?

OklaCity_75
05-31-2006, 06:18 PM
What if, what if. What if George Shinn honors the contract he signed, and is ethical and moves back to New Orleans where he committed to play?


The point I am making is nothing is ever set in stone until it actually happens.

This is the truth when it comes to cities planning anything from parks to buildings to streets.

I think it is foolish for anyone to belive anything that comes out of politician or a millionaire's mouth.

Neither city is safe.

On a side note I think retaining professional sport teams is the least of the City of New Orleans problems. My first goal if I were mayor of that city would be focusing on creating the worlds best disaster plan, rebuilding neighborhoods and improving city services.

If New Orleans loses its professional teams it will be only for a brief period of time. In my opinion if they properly rebuild the city the absence of professional sports should not last more than five years.