ESPN is reporting that New Orleans Saints owner, Tom Benson, is the new owner of the New Orleans Hornets. The team said on Twitter Friday that they are "thrilled" to announce "Tom Benson as the new owner of the New Orleans @Hornets (Twitter handle)!"
According to USA Today sports reporter, Jeff Zillgitt, Benson will be the sole owner of the NBA franchise, which was previously owned by the NBA itself. Benson's purchase price is $338 million.
Zillgitt reports that the deal must still be approved by the NBA Board of Governors, which will meet Friday in New York.
At this point, there shouldn't be any roadblocks standing in the way of the sale, NOLA.com reports.
The NBA had been trying to sell the Hornets since buying the team from founder George Shinn in December 2010 for reportedly $318 million. While preparing to sell the team, the league negotiated a new lease for the Hornets to remain in the New Orleans Arena through 2024, Fox Sports reports.
According to Turner sports reporter, David Aldridge, a group of investors including Raj Bhathal, former NBA coach and general manager, Mike Dunleavy, and former minority owner, Gary Chouest, had tried unsuccessful to buy the team from George Shinn 3 years ago.