NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn, who recently signed a 5-year lease, is interested in a 10-year deal with state subsidies rather than the exit clauses in the current contract. "This has been a partnership all along and naturally we and the state have the same goal in mind, to be here longterm," he said Saturday. A recent University of New Orleans study estimating the team's economic impact at $167 million a year "is a testament to our commitment," he said in a statement e-mailed by team spokesman Harold Kaufman. "With the great success of the All-Star weekend, which showcased New Orleans nationally and internationally, and the success of the team of the court, this brings value and notoriety to the community that you can't even put a price on, so we look forward to our continuing communication with all parties." Shinn said he also has asked NBA Commissioner David Stern to have the All-Star Game return to New Orleans. But, he said, the team needs a financial safety net for increasing expenses, including salaries. Superdome Commission Chairman Ron Forman would say only that he has talked with team officials in the past week about a long-term lease. "A long-term arrangement with the Hornets is in everybody's best interest," Forman said in a statement to The Times-Picayune. "The excitement and support for this team is continuing to build, and that's a good sign." He could not be reached Saturday by The Associated Press. Superdome spokesman Bill Curl did not immediately return a call. The Hornets could end their current lease if attendance at the New Orleans Arena averages less than 14,735 by the end of the 2008-09 season. It averaged 11,871 for this season's first 15 games, but the Hornets have sold out five of their last eight, including Friday's game against the New Jersey Nets. The contract also calls for the state to build a new practice facility next to the New Orleans Arena — another item Shinn would drop. The Hornets now practice at the Alario Center in Westwego, where a $12 million gym for the team is expected to be ready in the spring. Shinn said that when he said he wanted to work fast, Forman told him they could get it done in 10 weeks. It took nine months to work out the lease signed in December, as the administration of Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, was ending. Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, was inaugurated Jan. 14.