Officials Expect Superdome Ready for Some 2006 Games
Officials expect Superdome to be ready for some 2006 Saints game
AP - Oct 20
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Superdome officials say the stadium should be largely cleaned up from Hurricane Katrina and ready for the New Orleans Saints to play at least some of their games there in 2006.
The announcement Thursday came as San Antonio officials said they were working Saints owner Tom Benson to keep the team in Texas. The state must also respond to the team's assertions that its state-owned practice facility has been rendered unusable by damages caused by federal agencies in the weeks following the Aug. 29 storm.
The Superdome, severely damaged by high winds, should have a temporary roof in place within 10 days, said Doug Thornton, regional vice president for SMG, which manages the stadium. An environmental assessment of its interior - damaged by rainfall through holes in the roof and its use as a shelter for evacuees - should be finished by Dec. 1, he said.
"We're working to make the Dome ready for the next season," Thornton said at a meeting of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District Commission, the state board that oversees the Superdome.
It appears things are gonna get nasty. Or should I say nastier?
I have one work for San Antonio... "HA"
How about this scenario: the state and city get the superdome ready to play by Nov 29. That'll throw a monkey wrench in his granddaugthers future plans. Sometimes I don't think Benson is even calling the shots anymore. Gotta be some power hungry biatch?
As for litigation, Benson is saying the federal government hospital set up at the facility destroyed it on Airline Drive, another part of the deal with the State. I've heard on the radio and from friends that the place needs to be cleaned up but there's nothing wrong with it. Let's face it, State's trying to have the the Dome's roof fixed, roll out the turf, and the massive facility on Airline drive will get cleaned up, fresh coat of paint before November 29th. I'm telling you, that facility was not damaged. Legally Benson could be toast.
Here is my guess as to what might happen. I think the NFL owners will approve the move to San Antonio but just to stab Benson in the back with the moving fee, which they determine, will be rediculous, on the order of 400 to 700 million dollars because he's moving from the 20th ranked market in the NFL etc, and that coupled with the State's 80 million, and believe me the courts will have no sympathy for the organization nor Benson for holding a gun to the areas' head in a time of crisis... Benson's keeping his mouth shut for a reason, he knows if he gets what he wants, somebody's gonna screw him over, either the NFL owners, the Commish, the State, or probably all of them.
N.O. Arena could be ready in early spring
Friday, October 21, 2005
By Ed Anderson
Capital bureau-Times Picayune
BATON ROUGE -- The Superdome could be open for next fall's college and professional football seasons, and the nearby New Orleans Arena could open its doors by early spring for the last few Hornets games, the chief manager of the two facilities said Thursday.
Workers are trying to get the Dome ready to accommodate part of the New Orleans Saints' season next year, said Doug Thornton, regional vice president of SMG, the company that manages the two public buildings for the state.
Both buildings sustained flood and wind damage from Hurricane Katrina, and the Dome was heavily damaged after housing more than 20,000 evacuees as a last-resort shelter following Katrina.
Because of the Superdome's condition, the Saints are playing this season's games at Tiger Stadium and San Antonio's Alamodome, where officials are negotiating with Saints owner Tom Benson to relocate the team. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel had no comment on the possibility that the Dome could be ready by October 2006.
"We are working to make the Dome available" for the next Saints' football season, Thornton said. "It is important we get these buildings back up and running as quickly as possible . . . for the city of New Orleans."
The Dome also is home to the New Orleans Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the Essence Music Festival.
Workers are trying to get the Arena ready for the final three home games of the New Orleans Hornets' season.
Thornton told the displaced Superdome Commission, meeting at the Louisiana Retirement System Building in Baton Rouge, that contractors are expected to be finished placing a temporary roof on the Superdome in the next seven to 10 days.
Environmental consultants are expected to be finished removing mold and about 1.8 million square feet of wet carpeting and drywall in the Dome by Dec. 1, he said. The stadium also will be checked for other health hazards caused by rotting food and sewerage backup.
The hurricane has displaced the Hornets to Oklahoma City for most of its season. LSU is scheduled to host six games.
If the Hornets make the playoffs, Thornton said, those games would probably be played back in Oklahoma City.
Thornton said that in addition to the water damage, the Arena's parking lots were used as landing strips for large military helicopters. Officials want to make sure there was no structural damage done to parking lot areas or supports before opening the building.
Story continues...Cost, etc...
From the San Antonio Express...
Benson has the option to invoke a "force majeure" clause in the Saints' lease agreement with the state of Louisiana, which operates the Superdome.
The clause gives him the right to void the lease, without penalty, if he claims an "act of God" has rendered the stadium unusable for the team's games.
But sources say Benson is more concerned about New Orleans' damaged economy than he is the status of the Superdome. Benson, sources say, believes he can make more money in San Antonio than in Baton Rouge, where the Saints will play four games this season.
"Benson to Bail on Superdome"...
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