The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District is asking Louisiana lawmakers for $60 million of capital construction funding over two years for upgrades required under a new agreement between the state and the New Orleans Hornets basketball team.
Louisiana funds its capital construction spending with annual sales of state general obligation bonds as projects are completed.
The agreement will keep the National Basketball Association team in New Orleans through 2024, with a five-year renewal option.
It was signed in March by Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and team officials.
The Hornets pledged to bring at least one NBA All Star Game in New Orleans during the period.
The money being requested includes $50 million for improvements to the New Orleans Arena and $10 million to upgrade the team’s current practice facility. The project also includes additional suites and premium seating to generate more revenue.
Jindal said the revised agreement will save the state $72 million in operating costs over the next 10 years. It goes into effect July 1.
The new agreement reduces the subsidy in an earlier pact that called for the state to pay the team up to $7.3 million per year.
The obligation is reduced to $2.8 million a year, with the money earmarked for revenue-producing efforts by the stadium district.
A measure under consideration in the Senate would also provide the Hornets with state tax rebates of up to $3.7 million a year, depending on the number of jobs created in the region.