Oklahoma City Approves Hornets' Revenue Totals

Thursday, June 28th 2007, 8:04 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ An independent audit of the New Orleans Hornets' revenue figures from their second season in Oklahoma City confirmed that the city will not share in the team's revenue, a city official said Thursday.

Including preseason games, the Hornets' revenues for the 2006-07 season totaled $40.5 million _ about $300,000 more than their first season in Oklahoma City. However, the formula to determine if the city would share in the team's revenues was adjusted between the seasons to remove preseason games and that left the total short of a benchmark.

The Hornets shared $1.2 million in revenues with the city from the 2005-06 season.

``When you look at it from season to season, the actual Hornets revenues were pretty consistent from year to year,'' said Tom Anderson, the special projects manager for the city of Oklahoma City. ``... It was just a difference in the way the deal was structured.''

After the Hornets submitted their figures last month, the city had 30 days have an audit performed.

``We felt it was a prudent thing to do, and everything worked out great,'' Anderson said. ``That's what we like.''

The Hornets had a capacity crowd in the Ford Center for 30 of their 71 regular season games and averaged 18,340 fans in their Oklahoma City games.

``We certainly believe that Oklahoma City is major league and deserves its own NBA franchise,'' Hornets spokesman Michael Thompson said.

Anderson pointed out that in the second season the Hornets paid for their own game day expenses, which had been fronted by the city in 2005-06 and then reimbursed by the team. Also, much of the second season was played after the team announced it would be returning to New Orleans full time next season.

``It wasn't just a one-year phenomenon,'' Anderson said.

The Hornets' combined revenue total from Oklahoma City and New Orleans for last season was $46 million.