New Orleans Saints owner approved to purchase NBA's Hornets

NEW ORLEANS -- The NBA says the league's board of governors has voted to approve the sale of the New Orleans Hornets to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson.

According to a one-sentence statement released by the NBA on its Twitter page Wednesday night, the transaction is expected to close this week.

Benson and NBA Commissioner David Stern announced in April that the Saints' owner had agreed to purchase the Hornets from the league, and officials confirmed a sale price of about $338 million.

The NBA bought the Hornets from club founder George Shinn in December 2010 and spent 16 months looking for a buyer who would keep the team in Louisiana.

Benson also has agreed to the terms of a recently negotiated lease keeping the Hornets in the New Orleans Arena through 2024.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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