Tuesday , Jan , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets to return to Oklahoma City next season

New York, NY (Sports Network) The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will play
most of its home games at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City next season, NBA
commissioner David Stern announced on Tuesday.

The Hornets will play 35 home games in Oklahoma City and six home contests at
the New Orleans Arena during 2006-07.

“While the NBA and the Hornets remain committed to returning to New Orleans,
we have agreed with Louisiana and SMG officials that, for now, our collective
interests are best served by having the team play the bulk of its 2006-07
schedule in Oklahoma City,” said Stern. “However, we are hopeful that the team
will be in a position to return to New Orleans full time beginning in the
2007-08 season.”

Stern also announced that the league is prepared to enter exclusive
negotiations with New Orleans’ city and state officials to hold the 2008 NBA
All-Star Game in the Big Easy.

“From everything we have seen and heard, we have little doubt that New Orleans
will soon regain its place among the world’s premier cities for hosting major
sporting events,” said Stern.