Oklahoma City could become New Orleans Hornets home for upcoming NBA season

By John Rohde Published: September 2, 2005
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p /> Those franchises were given to the Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The chaos left by Hurricane Katrina is expected to force permanent moves for the Hornets and the NFL New Orleans Saints.

The Hornets play their home games in New Orleans Arena across the street from the Superdome, which suffered heavy damage during the storm while being used as a shelter.

Strong rumors are swirling the Saints might never play again in New Orleans and will relocate to Los Angeles as early as next season.

Similar rumors are beginning to swirl about permanently relocating the Hornets, a franchise that began in Charlotte, N.C., in 1988 and relocated to New Orleans prior to the 2002-2003 season.

Even if the Superdome and New Orleans Arena are functional, it's unlikely either team would be financially solvent for several years while the city is being rebuilt.

The Saints have since moved into a hotel in San Antonio and will practice in the Alamodome in preparation of their season-opener on Sept. 11 at Carolina.

Members of the Hornets' staff have relocated to Houston and are working out of Toyota Center.

The Hornets' first preseason game is schedule for Oct. 13 in Denver. The Ford Center is scheduled to host an NBA exhibition Oct. 17 between Seattle and Houston.

The Hornets' 82-game regular season schedule begins Nov. 2 at Cleveland. Two days later, the Hornets play Sacramento in their first home game - wherever their home might be.


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