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maximkat 09-16-2005 10:36 AM

Brooks says Saints deserved attention before Katrina
By John Reid
Staff writer
SAN ANTONIO - Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks has noticed a change.
The Saints are drawing a substantial amount of national media attention unlike past seasons as a result of being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Because of damages caused by Hurricane Katrina and the facility being used as an evacuation, the Saints are practicing in San Antonio for the season and will split their home schedule between Baton Rouge and San Antonio.
"It's just unfortunate that we're part of the 32 teams in the NFL and it takes a national disaster for the media and NFL to show us some love,'' Brooks said.
"That's really uncalled for. There are a lot of great players on this football team and we're a team in the middle of the pack that deserves attention.''
NEARING MILESTONE: With nine more rushing yards...

saintfan 09-16-2005 12:01 PM


Despite being listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the New York Giants, tight end Ernie Conwell practiced Thursday.
This is great news. I think we all saw how important it is to have a threat in the middle of the field.

WhoDat 09-16-2005 12:17 PM

Yeah, that is good news.

I'm split on this - good for the near term... potentially real real bad for the long-term:


GETTING READY: Alamodome officials are putting down the turf,, but it's still not ready for the Saints to begin practicing.
GOOD DRAW: Conrad Kowal, the Saints’ senior director of marketing, said the team sold more than 50,000 tickets on the first day of sales for the three games that will be played at the Alamodome this season.
"It was overwhelming, and we were a little overwhelmed,'' Kowal said. "It was a terrific start.''
Don't want Benson saying - we could only sell 30,000 season tickets in all of preseason in New Orleans and we sold 50,000 tickets in 1 day in San Antonio!

saintswhodi 09-16-2005 12:38 PM


GOOD DRAW: Conrad Kowal, the Saints’ senior director of marketing, said the team sold more than 50,000 tickets on the first day of sales for the three games that will be played at the Alamodome this season.
"It was overwhelming, and we were a little overwhelmed,'' Kowal said. "It was a terrific start.''
Doesn't stop there Who:


Second day brings brisk sales of Saints tickets
Web Posted: 09/16/2005 12:00 AM CDT

Tom Orsborn
Express-News Staff Writer

Ticket sales for three New Orleans Saints games in the 65,000-seat Alamodome have reached nearly 85,000, team officials reported Thursday.

The news of a second day of robust sales heartened city leaders who feared a much more significant dropoff after the Saints sold more than 50,000 tickets Wednesday.

Selling 34,200 tickets on the second day "is really outstanding," Assistant City Manager Roland Lozano said. "It's a very healthy number."
The NFL had a similar reaction to the final tally for the first day of sales.

"That's excellent news," league spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday when told fans gripped with NFL fever rushed to buy tickets, gobbling up 30,000 in the first four hours.

"We are doing everything we can to help the Saints, and this certainly helps the Saints," Aiello said.

But Aiello declined to say whether capacity crowds at the three games would convince the league San Antonio is an NFL market.

"It's premature to address any of that at this time," Aiello said. "We aren't focusing on it at all."

A Saints spokesman said the team also made strides selling sponsorship packages one day after team owner Tom Benson and other club officials made their sales pitch to the city's corporate leaders during a breakfast at La Cantera Country Club.

"We've had a great response in terms of sponsorships and the buying of suites," said Paul Corliss, the Saints' director of community affairs. "Our sponsorship guys have been going crazy today."

Corliss declined to say how many of the Alamodome's 34 available luxury suites have been sold and at what prices. But according to sources with knowledge of Saints' pricing, the suites are available for $6,000 but only as part of a broader, more expensive sponsorship package. Such packages in the NFL typically include additional premium seating, advertising and parking.

NFL teams keep all revenue generated from the sale of luxury suites. The Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans has 137 suites, most of which are available to the Saints for sale.

Texas Stadium in Irving has a league-high 380 luxury suites. Reliant Stadium in Houston has 177.

The Saints, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, moved their base to San Antonio two weeks ago. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Monday three of the team's home games would be at the Alamodome: Oct. 2 against Buffalo, Oct. 16 against Atlanta and Dec. 24 against Detroit.

Corliss said seats at every level and price remain for all three games. The team's season-ticket holders from the Superdome have until 10 days before kickoff of each game to claim comparable seating in the Alamodome.

"You can't pull the tickets out from under (the season-ticket holders) without giving them ample opportunity to tell us what their plans are," Corliss said. "But we would imagine (many) of those seats are going to be released, and there will be an influx of good seats available at that time."

WhoDat 09-16-2005 01:52 PM

The thing that is heartening to see is the timing in which Tags seems willing to step in. Ole Tagly has been mostly hands off when it comes to the Saints/State stadium discussions, and that had annoyed me for a while. My opinion is a little different now.

I think it is telling that Tags has gotten involved twice in the last 6 months. Once after Benson broke off talks with the State and floated a rumor that he was seeking a move via his attorney. Then again recently, after Benson floated a rumor that he was seeking a move through his VP to a state senator.

Benson's motives just seem more and more suspect to me.

saintswhodi 09-16-2005 02:07 PM

I believe Benson is the bad guy here, and Tags finally did the right thing. Set this guy straight. I have no doubt Benson and his boy McCombs have been trying to find some way to keep the Saints here, and no doubt he is loving every minute of the reports on the ticket sales. But Tags did the right thing in saying the NFL will be there to help build this city back with the New Orleans Saints, and any talks of a move are off at a time like this, or something to that effect. Of course Benson could sell, but 2/3 of the owners would still have to approve any move. Tags mayhave helped us keep our boys in New Orleans.

WhoDat 09-16-2005 02:13 PM

Tags + a new stadium seals the deal, IMO.

A bit of good news - a report I heard on NPR said that after every major catastrophe of the last 150 years, Americans have not only rebuilt, but the cities where damage occurred expereinced small booms in the 5 or so years afterwards. That's great to hear. Now the president (moron) is talking about an Urban Land Grant Act (or something like that). I don't like Bush, but that's a good idea that would help a lot.

jnormand 09-16-2005 09:18 PM

I agree with you Whodat. I'm very impressed and pleased that tickets sold so friggin fast for the Saints games. I am a little worried. Ol' Benson might use this as his way of saying, "Hey, a move to TX is perfect. Look at the fan base we already have!"

It was nice to hear about the ticket sales but it also made me a little weary of Benson. He has been talking about a possible move to TX before the Saints are practicing and playing a few games there...might not be good in the long haul for the Saints staying in LA.

I hope he doesn't use this as a catapult to bail out of NO.

frankeefrank 09-17-2005 12:53 AM

The disparity in tix sales between NO and San Antonio was predictable. But IMO, the lack of NO fans buying tix should be put in context.
Before the Hurrican no one bought tix because of three very simple reasons.
How can you ask fans to buy season tickets in bulk when...
One, Your team hasn't been to the playoffs in four years.
Two, you raise ticket prices for said team.
and then (three) threaten to move the team.

I would have bought tix if I lived in NO, but only because I am a fanatic. It's also why I have relatively no wealth now.
Not everyone is that impulsive.

Also keep in mind the Fans of NO, prior to this season, provided enough support for something like 40 plus sell outs.
There is no problem with the fan base in NO, that a winning team couldn't solve.

BoudinSandwich 09-17-2005 11:12 AM

You local guys may remember when the ECHL ventured down to Lafayette. The Louisiana IceGators was the team. The first couple of years ticket sales were booming. Louisiana never had a hockey team before and they loved to watch it because it was different. Slowly but surely, as the years progressed, the sporting event became too normal and tickets dropped so far below the radar that the team left.

You can't expect this to happen to every city for every sport, however, its always a possibility. Obviously, when a team sells that many tickets on the first day, its safe to assume that as the years progress they would not sell as many.

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