Hornets’ new round of tax subsidies to total $78 million

The Louisiana state house has slightly reduced the tax breaks being considered for the New Orleans Hornets (now in the process of being sold to Saints owner Tom Benson) from 15 years of $3.65 million tax rebates to 10 years. Though if you read the articles at the time it was first announced, it’s only a ten-year lease extension, so giving 15 years of tax breaks never made sense in the first place.

Anyhoo, the Hornets’ new round of taxpayer subsidies will now amount to only the ten years of tax breaks (worth about $28 million in present value, by my Excel calculations), plus $50 million for renovations to the New Orleans arena. In exchange, the Hornets promise to remain in town through at least 2024, which means that there should be no talk of new arenas and move threats for at least the next year or two. The state will also be required to file annual reports on the number of jobs created or retained by the tax rebate, which should at least make for some entertaining reading.


4 comments on “Hornets’ new round of tax subsidies to total $78 million

  1. Gotta love that Tom Benson. Where would he be without the Louisiana taxpayer? I had to laugh when I read he bought the Hornets; of course he had the money, the state has been paying him to keep the Saints in the Superdome.

    The guy is a poster child for why the public does not need to subsidize private sports entertainment.

  2. While I know most of you guys don’t believe in subsidizing pro-sports but this happens with all kinds of businesses in every city.

    While I live in Los Angeles, they’ve moved their shoots for shows to places in Canada like Vancouver and Toronto.

    In the states, places like Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit & New York City have given production studios tons of tax-rebates or just complete breaks for filming.

    Plus you have normal businesses like tech savy ones in San Francisco and Silicon Valley that give massive tax-breaks to companies to stay there.

    So this is what I’m getting at, if New Orleans never kept the Saints and Benson was allowed to move them to San Antonio, where would the city be after Katrina and the Super Bowl?

    The Saints winning the Super Bowl did a lot for that community whether you want to admit it or not and helped the city recover showing it can still hold big events which is why it has gotten the Final Four, Super Bowl and NBA All-Star game recently.

    Tom Benson isn’t stupid, this was an extremely good lease deal for him that was negotiated by the NBA and the State NOT Tom Benson. The NBA made the deal so they could sell the team to a local ownership group.

    So before you go bashing Tom Benson and saying what he would do with the NOLA taxpayer, well he would be in San Antonio with his team still making a lot of money.

    These men that buy into the pro-sports business are not dumb. Pro-Sports are the last breed of live TV that is actually keeping companies like DIRECTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS still in business with live subscription television, which is why sports whether college or professional are getting INSANE TV deals. The internet is soon to wipe those companies out in the next decade.

    All I’m saying is if I’m Tom Benson and that deal was on the table to help keep the Saints & Hornets in NOLA while looking like good business decision, I’m taking it. Other companies do it all the time but you guys never talk about other companies subsidies, you just pick on pro-sports and not other companies like Wal-Mart or tech/office cubical type jobs that governments give subsidies to all the time as well.

  3. I actually do too pick on subsidies to other companies. See, for example:

    blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/02/city_panel_votes_on_128_million_freshdirect_payoff_liveblog.php

    I don’t post about them here much, though, because this is a site about sports stadiums and arenas. For non-stadium corporate subsidy deals, you might want to check out the excellent clawback.org.

  4. NFL in LA, yes, I’m well aware that other businesses are subsidized by the government, and I’m no less perturbed by them than I am at sports owners. But, like Neil said, this is site about sports stadiums, so they get my ire on this particular web site.

    Thanks for the tip on clawback.org! I will definitely be bookmarking that site.

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