Shinn Stresses Need For State Help On Practice Courts

Saturday, February 24th 2007, 2:31 pm
By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Hornets owner George Shinn says a new, publicly financed practice facility will no cost as much as $20 million.

The facility was promised to Shinn when he moved the NBA team to New Orleans from Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2002.

Shortly before the Hornets hosted the Seattle SuperSonics in New Orleans Friday night, Shinn says his team has honored its end of the contract and fully expects the state to honor theirs.

The city has put aside a little more than $6 million for the project. But that money won't be spent until the team has agreed with the city and state on a location and design for the building.

The Hornets' contract with the state requires the team to remain in New Orleans until 20-12 and league commissioner David Stern has said he does not want NBA teams breaking their leases.

But if the rebuilding of New Orleans proves too weak economically to sustain both the Hornets and the NFL's Saints, the team could use the training headquarters issue to get out of its lease early.