After considerable buzz in the media, this morning, Benson Basketball, LLC and Benson Basketball II, LLC acquired the general and limited partnership interests in New Orleans Hornets NBA Limited Partnership, the owner of the New Orleans Hornets NBA team. Once a deal had been struck between Benson and the NBA, and after a decisive turnover of responsibility by counsel for the team's then current NBA ownership, Stone Pigman took on primary responsibility for the negotiation of the amended lease between the team and the State of Louisiana for the team's use of the New Orleans Arena. The Arena playbook also includes the related agreement governing the new capital improvements to be made to the Arena over the ensuing three NBA seasons and the construction of a new training facility for the team or the upgrade of its existing training facility.
The Stone Pigman team engaged in a full court press to score key points for the new Benson ownership. Center John Landis was nothing but net on advertising and signage issues that are critical to the financial success of the team. Ellen Lloyd assisted John by laying up the federal and state rules on highway signage. Susan Talley dribbled around defensive obstacles, successfully negotiating other lease and construction issues. The coaching and training staff of Debbie Aschaffenburg, Peggy Field, Stacey Civello (before her trade to Albany), Rei Lovetro, Gail Anderson and rookie Emily Villemarette put in countless hours to keep the team driving to the basket. Not a single flagrant foul was drawn, despite the sometimes contentious negotiations!