New Orleans has always been known for great food, nightlife, music and rich history. Recently, NOLA has been able to add stellar sports teams to its reputation. After decades of disappointment, Saints fans got the thrill of a lifetime with the franchise’s first Superbowl win. New Orleans also boasts an impressive NBA team, led by all stars Chris Paul and David West. So after years of being treated like the kid no one wanted on his or her dodgeball team, why is New Orleans facing another sporting hardship?
Despite boasting some of the country’s most talented players, lackluster attendance has threatened to relocate the Hornets to another city. Beyond being lovers of great food, libations and letting the good times roll; we are fighters. It came as no surprise that when a source of entertainment, revenue and NOLA pride was threatened; we stepped up to reach the average attendance goal of nearly 15,000 people per game.
Leaders from the local business community have approached the fight to keep our Hornets by opening their wallets and turning a somber situation into a way to strengthen the community. Dozens of individuals,companies and organizations, including the Business Council of New Orleans & the River Region, Morris Bart, SMG and Young Leadership Council, to name a few, have joined together to create the Hornets Business Council. Since its formation in mid-December, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been committed by HBC members to ensure the team’s long term future in the city. Many members have made the most of their purchases by donating thousands of tickets to local non-profits and needy families.
So has the push paid off? There are still a few games to go until the January 31 deadline but attendance has improved. Do your city proud and show your support by drinking some pricey beers, grabbing your foam finger and cheering on the home team!
*photo credit: New Orleans Hornets FB Page*