Skip to content

Hornets to be sold to Saints owner Tom Benson for $338 million

Apr 13, 2012, 12:09 PM EDT

Tom+Benson+New+Orleans+Saints+v+Minnesota+AArmV4XJEwDl Getty Images

Tom Benson, the long-time owner of the New Orleans Saints, now will own both professional sports teams in that market.

Benson has reached a deal to buy the team for $338 million, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com.

The league reached a tentative agreement early Friday morning with New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson to buy the team for $338 million, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

The NBA Board of Governors had been expected to approve a sale of the team at its meetings this week in New York. Going into the week a California-based group led by Mike Dunleavy and Raj Bhathal was considered the front runner. But Benson stepped forward able to buy the team himself, without a group of investors, and that plus his ties to New Orleans apparently swayed the other owners.

A source indicated that Tom Benson spoke with Stern on Monday, and the deal came together quickly after that discussion. Benson will have to pay approximately 10 percent of the purchase price immediately. The NBA’s Finance Committee is expected to approve the sale Friday morning before the Board of Governors meeting adjourns, with final approval on the sale expected later in the spring.

The Times-Picayune broke the story this morning.

The NFL used to have strict rules against their owners also owning teams in other sports, but that has been relaxed to allow owners to have multiple teams in the same market, according to ProFootballTalk at NBC.

The league bought the Hornets from George Shinn, who tried his hardest to run that team into the ground and ruin the market like he had done in Charlotte. That sale price was reportedly $318 million (so the owners turn a small profit on the deal). While operating the team the NBA was able to negotiate a new, more favorable lease deal for the New Orleans Arena — a deal that keeps the team in the city through 2024 — and to build up the season ticket and fan bases in the city. That plus a new CBA that is more favorable to small markets made the Hornets attractive to investors.

The fans in the Big Easy have stepped forward to support the team. They deserve stable ownership and now they have it.

Latest Posts
  1. Could getting Chandler Parsons cost Dallas Vince Carter and/or Shawn Marion?

    Jul 11, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

    Vince Carter Vince Carter

    Landing Parsons would squeeze some of the money for other Dallas role players.

  2. Report: LeBron James still upset by Dan Gilbert’s infamous letter

    Jul 11, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    Could such a leak be LeBron setting up a reason to reject Cavaliers and return to Heat?

  3. While waiting on Plan A to make up his mind, Lakers mulling Plan B options

    Jul 11, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    If Carmelo chooses New York or Chicago, the Lakers should wait for the next big star.

  4. Report: Sharpshooter Anthony Morrow considering Clippers, Heat, Wizards, Raptors, Suns

    Jul 11, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Anthony Morrow Anthony Morrow

    He’s waiting to see what option is the most attractive… which really means who offers the most money.

  5. After punching high schooler, P.J. Hairston follows Josh Gordon controversy with agent scandal

    Jul 10, 2014, 11:48 PM EDT

    PJ Hairston PJ Hairston

    Hornets first-round pick making a lot of headlines for the wrong reasons

  6. Gerald Wallace: LeBron James ‘not willing to take over a game’

    Jul 10, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Getty Images

    Of course, Wallace believes Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant take over games

  7. Shelly Sterling says Donald Sterling backed sale until last minute

    Jul 10, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Shelly Sterling Shelly Sterling

    Closing arguments are set for July 28, so no quick end to this.

  8. Report: Isaiah Thomas meets with Suns on Thursday

    Jul 10, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers  v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    The Suns already have a deep backcourt, but Thomas would fit their offense.

  9. Shabazz Napier alley-oop to James Ennis, this could be Miami’s offense next season (VIDEO)

    Jul 10, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT

    Shabazz Napier, Peyton Siva AP

    This will either be the garbage-time sideshow for Miami next season, or the lone bastion of hope for the future of what remains of Heat fans.

  10. Phil Jackson says he has not heard from Carmelo, has tried to recruit Gasol

    Jul 10, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    Phil Jackson

    Like everyone else, Phil Jackson is in a holding pattern.

  11. People gathering at LeBron’s house in Ohio because… I got nothing

    Jul 10, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

    Why would you show up to LeBron’s empty house?

  12. Blazers’ C.J. McCollum has advice for incoming NBA rookies

    Jul 10, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    CJ McCollum AP

    “Instead of thinking of reasons why your coach should be playing you, honestly assess reasons as to why he isn’t.”

  13. Report: Trail Blazers signing Steve Blake

    Jul 10, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT

    Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

    Signing likely signals end of Mo Williams’ time in Portland

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. James (6776)
  2. C. Anthony (5089)
  3. C. Bosh (3759)
  4. K. Bryant (3254)
  5. D. Wade (3039)
  1. P. Gasol (2790)
  2. K. Love (2677)
  3. C. Parsons (2366)
  4. G. Hayward (2352)
  5. J. Lin (2239)