Quick, which team has sold the most new season tickets this NBA offseason?

Its not Carmelo Anthony's New York Knicks, Blake Griffin's Los Angeles Clippers or Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks.

Coming out of nowhere, the New Orleans Hornets lead the league in ticket sales during the NBA lockout.

The league-run franchise has been pushing a marketing campaign to scare people into buying seats. The NBA executives running the Hornets have told fans they need to reach 10,000 season tickets sold in order to help convince potential owners to keep the fledgling franchise in Louisiana.

"We've got to do our part," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told WWL TV, "And it's not that complicated. You've got to put people in the seats, buy the tickets, sell sponsorships. You get those things done and take it to the bank, [and] we're going to have a local owner."

Hornets officials have sold 3,400 more season tickets than they did last season to reach the 9,000 mark in ticket holders.

Last season the Hornets ranked No. 26 in attendance with an average announced home crowd of 14,709. Only the Memphis Grizzlies, New Jersey Nets, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers drew fewer fans than New Orleans.

While team officials can't bellyache about the number of new tickets sold, it hasn't exactly been easy during the work stoppage. WWL TV reports the Hornets have been sweetening the deal with cash refunds for every canceled game, in addition to 1 percent interest. Or, ticket holders would get credit for future games, plus 10 percent interest and another 5 percent for a charity they pick.

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