Nashville offers NHL arena to Hornets for 12 games

Updated: September 3, 2005, 4:46 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The arena that already hosts the NHL's Nashville Predators is being offered up as a temporary home for 12 home games for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets this season.

Hugh Lombardi, general manager of the Gaylord Entertainment Center, said he has contacted the NBA to offer the arena as a potential site for some home games. The New Orleans Arena is located next to the Louisiana Superdome, and the NBA has informed teams the Hornets may relocate.

"We wanted to be sensitive to the whole issue and to see if we can help out if we could," Lombardi said. "And also, if we could get some home dates here, it would be great for the city of Nashville."

But Nashville's arena, which seats a little more than 19,000 for basketball, has limited dates available with the Predators, AFL Nashville Kats, college basketball games and concerts already scheduled. Hosting the Hornets for an entire season is impossible.

Lombardi said he expects to talk with NBA officials next week.

"Right now we're trying to get a sense as to what the NBA is planning," he said. "I don't even know if they'd consider playing anywhere just partially. I assume they'd want to play in one place for the whole season and I know we couldn't accommodate that."

The Hornets open training camp in Colorado on October and are scheduled to play their first home game on Nov. 4. Oklahoma City already has offered Ford Center as a home site for the Hornets, while Baton Rouge also is a possibility.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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