Local fan reaction: Hornets are staying in New Orleans

Hornets Buzz

Happy days are here again! For Hornets fans like me in New Orleans, things could not be better right now. First, New Orleans defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 91-89 on a last second jumper by David West(notes). Second, the win gave the Hornets their ninth consecutive win, which ties the longest winning streak in New Orleans Hornets history. Third, the win moved the Hornets into third place in the illustrious NBA Western Conference. However, the greatest thing that happened at the Hive Monday night did not occur on the court. It took place in the stands.

The New Orleans Arena and the Louisiana Superdome
Wikimedia Commons

Escape clause in arena lease voided

There is an escape clause in the Hornets lease with the New Orleans Arena which states that the club must average a certain attendance at each home game. Failure to meet the attendance figure gives the team the option of moving from New Orleans. Through 2014, the magic number of the above stated attendance is 14,375 over a two-year period at the end of January. This year it looked like New Orleans would not meet the benchmark. But a concerted effort by local leaders along with the Hornets winning streak enabled the club to easily meet the average attendance.

Let me state that I think the whole idea of this escape clause is ridiculous. The fact that Hornets fans in New Orleans have to nervously check attendance figures every two years to see if their team is leaving town is unfair. I feel like the Sword of Damocles is hanging over New Orleans. Ownership can't just snap their fingers and expect the Hornets to be as popular as the Saints. The Hornets have been in New Orleans less than 10 years and the Saints have been here over 40 years. Instead of telling us to "Fan Up" management should "Own Up!"

Looking ahead

Now that I'm off my soapbox, I can shift my focus back to more pleasant topics. Although New Orleans is the hottest team in NBA, they are about to make the dreaded west coast road trip. Hopefully, the Hornets can rest up after leaving New Orleans and be ready to play Golden State on Wednesday. Although I think the winning streak will end on this road trip, I thought the same thing when the Hornets faced Atlanta and I was wrong. If the Hornets can muster up just one more great defensive effort, they will own the longest winning streak in New Orleans Hornets history.

Sources

Brett Martel, "Paul, West lift surging Hornets over Thunder," yahoo.com

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Updated Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011