Pelicans Ownership Plans To Stay In New Orleans

The team’s lease is up in 2024.

For those in Seattle or Las Vegas or Mexico City that thought there was a possibility, albeit slim, that the National Basketball Association was going to place an expansion team or relocate a franchise into one of those cities in fall 2024, they are in for a disappointment. A franchise that could become available, the New Orleans Pelicans NBA team is not coming. Pelicans’ ownership is seeking a five-year lease extension at the city owned arena that would come with building upgrades and then Pelicans owners and Louisiana will talk about a new venue. Just who will own the business in 2025 is unknown as Gayle Benson has stated that after her demise, the team must be sold.

“There’s no time frame. We’re still finishing the renovations for the Superdome, so we’re going to have to wait a little while,” said Benson, who happens to be the owner of the National Football League New Orleans Saints. The “Envision the Future” Superdome upgrade will cost $450 million with Louisiana taxpayers kicking in $90 million and another $210 million coming from the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District. The football structure is expected to be done by the 2024 season. New Orleans is hosting the 2025 Super Bowl. Benson wants that done first then the basketball arena partially because how many times can she go to the state and get taxpayers dollars for a private business? The state claims, the “Superdome is a proven economic engine for the State of Louisiana delivering hundreds of millions of dollars every year.” The state has by this point probably invested more than a billion-dollars into the Superdome through renovations and handouts to Saints ownership. Meanwhile, the vice president of stadiums for ASM Global Doug Thornton said this about the negotiations with the Pelicans ownership. “Their intention is to extend the lease”.  

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