NBA representatives toured the Ford Center in Oklahoma City and met with local officials yesterday about the possibility of temporarily moving the displaced New Orleans Hornets to the city.

Mayor Mick Cornett said NBA officials walked around the facility and discussed possible terms of a lease should the team decide to play its home schedule at the arena.

"The NBA is impressed with what we have to offer," Cornett said.

Cornett said he believed the success of major league baseball exhibition games, plus the turnout at major concerts, provided evidence that Oklahoma City could support an NBA franchise. He said sales of tickets for college games at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for similar prices also suggest the team would be marketable in Oklahoma City.

The mayor said the main considerations for the NBA would be facilities for games, practice and office work. The Hornets are not expected to be able to open the season in New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Cornett said a decision was possible in the next two weeks, but a league official said nothing was imminent. Nashville; Baton Rouge, La.; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville; San Diego; and Las Vegas have been mentioned as other possible relocation sites.

-- From News Services