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Marketing the Hornets in New Orleans

Given the economic devastation in post-Katrina New Orleans, it's no surprise that demand for professional sports has fallen. This story in the Times-Picayune discusses the efforts of the Hornets to make a go of it there. The salient facts: ten game packages are being marketed for as little as $10 a game. North Carolinian city-shopper George Shinn sold 25% of the team to a Lousiana "barge and vessel tycoon" for $64 million. Shinn and said tycoon, Gary Chouest, are in negotiations with the state over subsidy terms, which currently pays the team up to $6 million per year.

These moves by Chouest and Shinn appear to make sense. But marketing, local ownership, and local subsidies can only take a team so far. As Gary Roberts states in the article, the Hornets survival in New Orleans requires "a miraculous economic rebirth."