HoopsHype Tom Benson rumors

December 5, 2012 Updates
December 4, 2012 Updates

The New Orleans Hornets are expected to change their nickname to the Pelicans as early as the 2013-14 season, numerous sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Hornets planned to change their nickname since Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, purchased the team on April 14. Benson also owns the rights to the nickname Pelicans. Yahoo! Sports

December 2, 2012 Updates

Attendance has declined 10 percent from a year ago, from 15,109 to 13,695. The figure is the third lowest in the NBA and the lowest in the club's nine seasons in New Orleans. This isn't how it's supposed to work in Year 2 of a rebuilding campaign, especially after you land the No. 1 player in the draft and secure popular local ownership. The Thunder went to the playoffs in Year 3 of the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook era. The Spurs won it all in Year 3 of Greg Popovich's tenure. The Hornets, meanwhile, are spinning their wheels and spinning rhetoric about the promising future. Eric Gordon has missed 72 of 81 games and has been banished to the West Coast to rehab his mysterious knee injury. The imbroglio has alienated fans and derailed momentum. The entire organization has been held hostage by the situation. It's the E! False Hollywood Story. No one can provide a straight answer. And with each passing day it makes the Chris Paul trade looks worse and worse. It might one day rank alongside the Gary Cuozzo and Ricky Williams deals in infamous New Orleans trade history. New Orleans Times-Picayune

November 10, 2012 Updates
November 1, 2012 Updates

Q Would you consider switching the nickname should New Orleans owner Tom Benson follow through on plans to give up the name “Hornets?’’ Michael Jordan: “It’s definitely an interest down the road. But right now it’s still the New Orleans Hornets. We’re really not at liberty to discuss something owned by someone else. We would definitely entertain the opportunity. That’s as much as we can say right now. We’ve heard the community ask the question, and we would listen.’’ Charlotte Observer

October 30, 2012 Updates

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that Pepsi and evamor have signed on as corporate partners. With the addition of the two beverage partners, the Hornets and the New Orleans Arena will have the opportunity to enhance the fan experience with new products, as well as lower price points for concessions. “Since purchasing the Hornets, we have engaged our fans in several discussions to understand the modifications we can make to improve and enhance their game experience. Based on feedback we’ve received, variety, selection and pricing in regards to concessions were at the top of their list,” said Hornets Owner Tom Benson. “We have listened to their feedback and, in cooperation with SMG and Centerplate, feel we have taken great steps towards meeting those needs with our new partnerships with Pepsi and evamor.” NBA.com

September 17, 2012 Updates

The New Orleans Hornets announced Monday they have surpassed an average of 12,000 tickets sold per game this upcoming season, which includes partial and full-season season ticket packages, group sales and suites sold at the New Orleans Arena, according to team spokesman Harold Kaufman. Under new owner Tom Benson, the Hornets have made a push this offseason to either match or exceed last season's 10,000 season ticket total. The Hornets are expected to be one of the young emerging teams to watch because of No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis and rookie guard Austin Rivers. New Orleans Times-Picayune

July 29, 2012 Updates

And the Hornets? "Last season Hornets season ticket sales came to 10,000, '' said Benson. "Our goal for the 2012-13 season: 17,000. Can we do it? Watch.'' Benson is looking at the percentage of Saints season-ticket holders who also hold Hornets' season tickets to increase, and play a role in the round-ball push. Despite the offseason negatives involving the bounty penalties, Benson pointed to the Saints' signing a few of the leading free agents on the market. "As for Benson Tower, '' he said, "it filled up so quickly, we added 32,000 square feet of space to meet the demand.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune

July 17, 2012 Updates

Gordon has had several conversations with Hornets coach Monty Williams, but was disappointed about not hearing anything from general manager Dell Demps, the Hornets' new ownership group led by Tom Benson or any other front-office member. He still has yet to speak to the Hornets' brass. "All I could do was communicate with the coach," Gordon said. "That was the only communication I had. My agent [Robert Pelinka] was the only one communicating with the GM and the other front-office people. That was very different for me to go through." Yahoo! Sports

June 29, 2012 Updates

The New Orleans Hornets are exploring plans to possibly build a new practice facility at the New Orleans Saints’ complex. Tom Benson owns both franchises and some of his top team executives now hold dual roles for the Saints and Hornets. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Hornets General Manager Dell Demps said Friday they are looking into plans about a new practice facility and he likes the idea of having it at the Saints' complex in Metairie. ``I think it will be fun like a campus,’’ Demps said. ``You have the Saints on one side and the Hornets on the other. We’re looking into it. Mr. Benson is pulling out all of the stops and we’re happy about it. He’s going to give our team and players every opportunity to develop and compete at the highest level with everything we need.’’ New Orleans Times-Picayune

June 18, 2012 Updates

The New Orleans Hornets, who formally came under the domain of owner Tom Benson on Friday, will not retain president Hugh Weber, the man who helped guide the team through 17 months of league ownership and helped steer the franchise toward Benson's purchase and its stability through 2024 with a renegotiated lease agreement. New Orleans Times-Picayune

June 16, 2012 Updates

Two days after the NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the Hornets to Saints owner Tom Benson, and two months after signing a purchase agreement to acquire the team for $338 million, Benson released a statement Friday expressing his elation at the finalization of the transaction, and a hope for the same kind of success his football team has recently enjoyed. “I’m thrilled to have become the owner of the Hornets,” Benson said in a statement released by the club. “There is a lot of excitement in the region about the franchise, especially after winning the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. We have been successful with the Saints, and I know we can translate that success to our NBA team as well. “We have the best, most dedicated fans in the world and will need them along the way as we work as an organization to make them proud. Championship performance is tied to fan support, and the passion of the New Orleans sports fan is second to none. We look forward to joining up with all of our valued current fans and also introducing this great team game to many more residents of our city.” New Orleans Times-Picayune

June 15, 2012 Updates

Two days after the NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the New Orleans Hornets to Saints owner Tom Benson, Benson released a statement Friday expressing his elation at the finalization of the transaction and a hope for the same kind of success his football team has recently enjoyed. "I'm thrilled to have become the owner of the Hornets," Benson said in a statement released by the club. "There is a lot of excitement in the region about the franchise, especially after winning the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. We have been successful with the Saints and I know we can translate that success to our NBA team as well. New Orleans Times-Picayune

June 13, 2012 Updates

The NBA Board of Governors on Wednesday approved the sale of the New Orleans Hornets to Tom Benson, the league announced. The sale will be officially closed later this week. The Hornets are expected to make an official announcement concerning Benson's take-over on Thursday. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed off on the state's capital outlay bill, which included nearly $60 million for improvements to New Orleans Arena, as well as on the extension of the Quality Jobs Tax Credit, both elements which were critical in the agreement the state had with the Hornets to extend the lease in the Arena through 2024. New Orleans Times-Picayune

June 8, 2012 Updates
June 3, 2012 Updates

New Orleans Saints season-ticket holders got a chance on Sunday to select their seats for Hornets’ games at the New Orleans Arena. Although the Hornets did not release the total of how many current Saints’ ticket holders participated, there were a steady flow of fans throughout the two-hour session that was followed by another session that was open to the public. In April, Saints owner Tom Benson agreed to buy the Hornets for $338 million. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Richard J. Paddock, who said he’s been a Saints’ season-ticket holder for 40 years, attended Sunday’s event. ``I’m just happy we have Tom Benson as the owner of the Hornets,’’ said Paddock, a New Orleans native. ``It’s making me reconsider going back to a season-ticket holder again. I sat out last year, and I’ll probably be a full, season-ticket holder again. ``I believe with him (Benson) getting into the picture, he’s done good for New Orleans and for the Hornets, I just think he’s a standup guy.’’ New Orleans Times-Picayune

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