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New Orleans Hornets Sucks. The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team based in New Orleans. The Pelicans compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games in the Smoothie King Center.

Back in January 2005, ESPN published a piece about The New Orleans Pelicans New Orleans Hornets claims:

NEW ORLEANS -- A new lawsuit filed against the New Orleans Hornets claims the team deprived sales personnel of commissions by falsely recording sales of private suites as if they were group ticket sales in less expensive sections-- a practice that also could have resulted in inflated attendance figures. The lawsuit is one of several new actions filed this week against the Hornets, who already were accused of failing to pay overtime in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year. There are 12 plaintiffs in that first case, one of whom still works for the team. The new legal actions include a request for a protective order, filed in response to allegations in sworn affidavits, that Hornets executives have sought to intimidate other employees who might qualify to join the federal overtime lawsuit by threatening firings and bad references, which would be illegal. The request also alleges that certain executives have made false statements about the lawsuit in an effort to discourage employees from participating. This is not something you want to put your name on, because you will never get a good reference of this place, Hornets executive Christy McKearn told former employee Chris Stant during his exit interview, according to an affidavit. While some of the plaintiffs were fired, Stant quit, despite executives' urging him to stay, because of what he termed unbearable working conditions and his director's ``questionable business practices, the affidavit said. In another affidavit, Penny Middleton, the former director of personnel and payroll, said an employee confided to her that a fan relations executive told her staff they were ``lucky they didn't join the suit because it was about to be dismissed. The employee told me she wanted to join the lawsuit but feared for her job, Middleton said. Hornets spokesman Scott Hall said the team had no comment because the allegations are part of pending litigation. Meanwhile, the lawsuit seeking compensation for unpaid commissions, filed Wednesday in state district court, accuses the Hornets of using revenues from single-game suite sales to buy large groups of inexpensive tickets. Managers would do so by requiring sales representatives to ask for payment upfront. They would then use a portion of the payment to supply the suite with food and drinks, and spend the rest on tickets elsewhere in the arena, the lawsuit contends. The computer system would reflect that the suite was complimentary, and the lawsuit alleges the scheme made it impossible for salespeople to track whether they were owed commission for suite or group sales. There are seven plaintiffs in that lawsuit. The scheme also could have boosted official attendance figures by reflecting sales for large numbers of inexpensive tickets when the money paid really only should have reflected the size of the group in the suite. The New Orleans Hornets official average attendance for last season was more than 14,221, although state officials who manage the arena have said actual "turnstile" attendance was closer to 9,000. Also, the Hornets told The Associated Press earlier this year that they had inflated attendance by taking tickets owner George Shinn had originally bought for charities and reselling them for high-demand games. The team reflected those double sales in their books as tickets purchased for other games where many seats were still available. In addition to the overtime and commission lawsuits, a third lawsuit, with three plaintiffs, alleges the Hornets violated contracts with inside sales employees, who say they never received the annual base salaries they were promised when hired. Stewart Niles and Dan Buras, attorneys in all three lawsuits, are seeking to have the overtime lawsuit tried as a collective action, meaning every former and current Hornets employee since the team moved to New Orleans would be officially notified by the court of their right to join. A hearing on that matter is set for Aug. 17 before U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan.


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