Originally created 01/24/02

Hornets release ticket prices, accept deposits



NEW ORLEANS -- The Charlotte Hornets began accepting season ticket deposits in New Orleans Wednesday, hoping a strong response will help the NBA team's attempt to leave North Carolina.

Residents and businesses must buy at least 10,500 tickets and 54 luxury suites by March 15 or the Hornets can nullify their agreement to move to the New Orleans Arena. Meeting those goals also would strengthen the case for the move, which must be approved by a majority of NBA team owners.

An advertising campaign will begin next week to draw more season ticket buyers, said Doug Thornton, the arena's general manager.

The team requires a $250 deposit from those who order tickets for the team's 41-game home schedule. The deposit is refundable only if the team does not move to New Orleans.

Prices begin at $795.50, or $18.50 per ticket, for an upper level seat behind a basket. Mid-priced tickets range from $1,225.50, or $28.50 per ticket, to $2,365, or $55 for a lower-level corner seat.

Courtside season tickets cost $10,750, or $250 per ticket. Club seats range from $3,870, $90 per ticket, to $5375, or $125 per ticket.

Bill Curl, spokesman for the Louisiana Superdome, said the cheapest tickets available - though not available as season tickets - would be single game tickets for $7 and $10.

The state Legislature also must approve the deal, which includes millions of dollars in improvements to the state-owned arena, before the Hornets can move to New Orleans.