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New Orleans trying to woo the Grizzlies

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans plans to send a proposal to the Vancouver Grizzlies on Friday outlining what the city can offer the NBA team, which is looking for a new home.

"It's looking like a really good proposal," said Bill Hines, chairman of the regional economic development group known as Metrovision.

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has a March 26 deadline from the NBA to apply for relocation if he plans to move the team before the 2001-02 season.

Hines said the package most likely will include relocation expenses, the value of TV broadcast rights, the probable location of a practice facility and the results of a campaign to sell season tickets.

The package also might include a list of eight to 10 area businessmen with the ability and willingness to buy a minority share of the team, Hines said.

Heisley, who is based in Chicago, has said he would like to have partners because he would be an absentee owner. Hines would not reveal the list of possible investors.

Hines also said the ticket campaign has a commitment for 10,000 season tickets and the 44 luxury suites at the New Orleans Arena are accounted for.

Heisley also has visited Anaheim, Calif., and is expected to visit Memphis, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky., this week.