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Tom Benson buys New Orleans Hornets

neworleanshornetsNew Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson added to his stable of sports properties by buying the New Orleans Hornets from the NBA for $338 million.

The NBA will make a slight profit from the sale — assuming ongoing operations were at a break-even level — after buying the franchise for $318 million, according to

Benson is known as a hands-off owner; he’ll certainly give GM Dell Demps and coach Monty Williams some breathing room in the day-to-day operations of the team. Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen: it led to a huge bounty scandal with the Saints where coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season because he sanctioned payments for hurting opposing players. 

For the 84-year-old Benson, owning the two largest sports properties in New Orleans makes some business sense: the Saints have 71,000 season-ticket holders, and marketing Hornets packages to them is a no-brainer, as weill be joint sponsorship deals.


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