Later this evening, the Hornets tip off at the New Orleans Arena. It's one of the final regular season home games of the year. But after last Wednesday's win at the Hive over the Houston Rockets, the Hornets have clinched a playoff berth. That means at least 2 more home games this season. At least 2 playoff home games! Just one of the many benefits of having an NBA team in our city.
It is nice to have an NBA franchise located here. And it's not just basketball fans that benefit.
Having a 2nd major pro sports franchise in the city is tremendous considering how important business executives and CEO's view major league sports teams.
Business leaders use pro sports teams to measure a city's viability. Pro sports franchises are a good barometer to gauge a city's economic situation. The major business decision-makers know if a city has a major league sports franchise - or in New Orleans' case, 2 major league sports teams - then that city's residents have a fair amount of deposable income. It shows the city has a pulse. That there's an active economy. That the quality of life factor is high.
The opposite is also true. When a city loses a pro sports franchise to another city, the nationwide perception is similar to that of the city losing a major corporation. That the city isn't competitive. That the city is in decline.
Since 2002, or 23 years after the Jazz left New Orleans for Salt Lake City, the Hornets have been New Orleans' team. Even after Katrina and that season and a half in Oklahoma City, the Hornets remained New Orleans' team.
The NBA, the Governor of Louisiana, the Mayor of our city, and business leaders from around the region are rallying around the Hornets with the "I'm in" campaign.
You don't have to be an NBA fan to like the Hornets, or even a sports fan, you just have to be a fan of our city. because the Hornets are good for New Orleans.