WYMAN AND BOB

Columnist: Hornets-to-Seattle is a ‘no-brainer’

Jan 18, 2011, 7:23 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:54 pm

ChrisPaul

MyNorthwest.com staff

With attendance at New Orleans Hornets games continuing to lag, a columnist for NBA.com thinks it’s time for the team to relocate to Seattle.

The Hornets, which were purchased by the NBA from majority owner George Shinn in December, aren’t meeting the required average attendance of 14,735 that must be met to avoid triggering a clause in their lease that would allow them to leave after this season.

“To me, it’s a almost a no-brainer,” NBA.com columnist Fran Blinebury said on the Calabro show of a relocation to Seattle, which he advocated in a column earlier this month.

Blinebury said the New Orleans business community has pledged $200,000 to help reach the attendance threshold by the Jan. 31 deadline, but attendance is still falling well short.

“Here we have this desperate bid, supposedly, to save the team. It’s artificially inflated by contributions from the business community,” Blinebury said. “They’re still not going to hit the (attendance requirements). I just don’t think New Orleans can long-term support an NBA team anyway.”

Blinebury said Seattle is more deserving of an NBA team than St. Louis, Anaheim or Kansas City.

“Seattle was done wrong. Seattle is a proven market,” he said. “That is where we ought to be.”

KeyArena’s inability to generate sufficient revenue has been cited as a potential barrier to bringing the NBA back to Seattle, but Blinebury said KeyArena is not much worse than the New Orleans Arena, where the Hornets currently play.

“That building is not a 21st century NBA building,” he said. It’s got none of the bells and whistles of the United Center, Toyota Center, Staples Center, or anything like that. … So if that works, you can’t tell me that a reconfigured Key Arena shouldn’t be able to work.”

Listen to Fran Blinebury

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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