Saturday, February 16, 2002
Council willing to amend 'new owner' statement
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte City Council is willing to
amend its statement that the city won't build a new arena unless
the Charlotte Hornets find a new owner.
The statement included as part of a resolution approving the
construction of a $230 million arena -- an incentive to keep the
team from moving to New Orleans as its owners have asked -- upset
some NBA officials.
Deputy commissioner Russ Granik said Tuesday that the position
could alienate other NBA owners, who have to vote on the Hornets'
application to move to New Orleans.
Several City Council members say they want to remove the wording
eventually, even if they don't vote on it at their scheduled Monday
"If it's an impediment to the deal, it ought to come out,"
councilwoman Lynn Wheeler said. "But there's no hurry about doing
it this Monday."
The approval of the city manager or the mayor or a unanimous
vote of the council would be required for the matter to come to a
vote Monday. That seems unlikely since Mayor Pat McCrory said he
believes the clause should remain.
McCrory said the City Council, business leaders and even the NBA
acknowledge that owners George Shinn and Ray Wooldridge have
"We've done what we need to do at this point" by putting an
arena-financing plan on the table, the mayor said. "We've stepped
up to the plate."
The NBA has said Charlotte needs new owners available if the
league rejects the Hornets' request to move and Shinn and
Wooldridge choose to sell.