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Saints owner Tom Benson to Buy New Orleans Hornets

By April 13, 2012

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The New Orleans Saints have announced that their owner, Tom Benson, will buy the New Orleans Hornets from the NBA.

The team has been a ward of the NBA since December of 2010, when the league bought out George Shinn's stake in the team. That arrangement has led to several controversies, most notably Stern's veto of the trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers.

Benson's purchase should end any speculation about the team moving. National Football League rules allow owners to run multiple teams, but only as long as both teams are in the same market. Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke was forced to give up controlling interest in the team when he bought the St. Louis Rams; the Nuggets did remain in the family - he sold his stake to his son Josh.

Keeping the team in New Orleans will generate the only positive PR Benson has seen in a while, as the Saints have spent much of this spring dealing with revelations of Gregg Williams' bounty system and the subsequent suspensions of coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis.

That said, Benson was long rumored to be planning a move of the Saints - possibly to San Antonio, Texas, where his other businesses are based. But that talk died down considerably during and after the team's 2009 Super Bowl win.

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