The New Orleans Hornets have made tentative plans to hold at least the first two weeks of training camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The Hornets were scheduled to open camp in Westwego, La., a suburb of New Orleans, on Oct. 3. The Hornets open the preseason Oct. 13 at Denver and open the regular season Nov. 2 at Cleveland.
Hornets General Manager Allan Bristow and the NBA are in the process of deciding where to play the team's preseason and regular season home games as it is becoming increasingly unlikely that New Orleans Arena will be prepared for the Nov. 4 home opener. The Hornets were also scheduled to play preseason home games at New Orleans Arena on Oct. 20 and Oct. 24.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett yesterday offered to host the Hornets this season at Ford Center, a three-year-old arena in downtown Oklahoma City that can seat up to 19,675. The Hornets could opt to play in Baton Rouge at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, which can seat just more than 14,000 for basketball. The arena at Baton Rouge River Center, in downtown, also is being considered. River Center seats 8,500 for sporting events. The company that runs the River Center, SMG, also runs New Orleans Arena.
In other developments yesterday:
* The thoroughbred meet at Fair Grounds near downtown New Orleans that had been set to begin in November was canceled while racing officials try to locate hundreds of displaced employees.
Churchill Downs, which bought the Fair Grounds in October, has been trying to account for 500 employees and survey the damage at the track near downtown New Orleans, Churchill president Thomas Meeker said.
* The Sun Belt Conference is temporarily moving its offices from New Orleans to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
* The U.S. Tennis Association canceled the $50,000 men's Challenger event scheduled in Covington, La., the week of Sept. 12. A new USTA men's Challenger event will be scheduled for the week of Oct. 24 at a site to be determined.
-- From News Services
and Staff Reports