Saints owner Tom Benson agrees to buy Hornets

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NEW YORK — Tom Benson brought stability to the Saints nearly three decades ago and now plans to do the same for the Hornets in New Orleans.

The Saints’ owner agreed Friday to purchase the Hornets from the NBA.

“We expect this club to be one of the most outstanding clubs in the league, otherwise I don’t want to get involved,” Benson said. “This is just a good thing and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

A person familiar with the deal says the purchase price is $338 million.

The NBA has been trying to sell the Hornets since buying the club from founder George Shinn in December 2010. The league negotiated a new lease for the Hornets to remain in the state-owned New Orleans Arena through 2024.

The sale of the team to Benson has to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, which is meeting in New York on Friday.

“The city is one of the country’s treasures and we really have found the perfect owner,” Commissioner David Stern said. “Our goal all along has been to get the Hornets bought by somebody whose commitment to New Orleans would be unrivaled.”


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