The state of Louisiana is right in the middle of the now official league purchase of the New Orleans Hornets — the team plays in the state-owned New Orleans Arena. David Stern said in his conference call on the league taking control of the team that he hoped to see more financial assistance from the state, closer to what the Saints receive.
So WWL radio asked Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal what the state might be able to do to help keep the Hornets in New Orleans. He sounded like a politician, but he made his point.
“We’ve been working not only with the current management but now the league on creative ways for the state to support keeping the Hornets here,” said Jindal. But Jindal said those efforts have to have limits.
“We’ve made it clear that they understand the state is facing significant financial pressures,” the governor said. “We’re not going to do anything that jeopardizes funding for higher education or health care.”
Read that as, “you’re not getting give backs from us.”
There may be some way to move numbers around on paper and give some help to the league or new owership, but Louisiana — like every state right now — is not exactly in a place to give away money to billionaires. And you can be sure that’s how any significant deal by the state to provide a cushion for the new owners (whoever they are) would be portrayed.
But if the Hornets are going to stay in Louisiana, Jindal is going to play a role and maybe find some cash. Somehow.