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TallySaint 10-21-2005 06:17 AM

Chief: Saints Location NFL Issue
Chief: Saints' location NFL issue

Advocate sportswriter

In the wake of news that San Antonio officials will try to get the New Orleans Saints to relocate to Texas next season, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told Gov. Kathleen Blanco on Wednesday that the league and its members will make decisions about where the Saints will play in 2006 -- and beyond.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Thursday that Blanco phoned Tagliabue, who told the governor he's formed a New Orleans Advisory Committee -- made up of eight owners -- to assist him and Saints owner Tom Benson in making decisions about the franchise's future.

Aiello, the NFL's vice president of public relations, said the committee will discuss the Saints' situation in mid-November and mid-December, likely by conference call, and tentatively Jan. 4 at the league offices in New York City.

"The commissioner discussed the NFL's decision-making timeline for the Saints playing schedule for 2006 -- including the possibility of playing the games at LSU," Aiello said. "The league is looking to make that decision shortly after the season ends, and possibly sooner, depending on developments."

Team owners appointed to the committee are Pat Bowlen (Denver), Lamar Hunt (Kansas City), Robert Kraft (New England), Jeff Lurie (Philadelphia), Mike McCaskey (Chicago), Jerry Richardson (Carolina), Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh), and Wayne Weaver (Jacksonville).

Blanco reached Tagliabue at his New York office just two days after San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger said he would actively seek the relocation of the Saints to his city. Hardberger told the San Antonio Express-News that Benson agreed to discuss the possibility, likely after this season.

Hardberger said Benson understood "we will sit down and talk."

"That is his desire as well," he said. "I'm pretty comfortable in saying he wants to be here."

:arrow: Story continues...


TallySaint 10-21-2005 06:52 AM

"Following a meeting Thursday in New Orleans with area tourism and hospitality leaders, Blanco told reporters she spoke with Tagliabue and he indicated a strong fan showing at the Saints-Dolphins game would be a big plus for the state."


TallySaint 10-21-2005 07:18 AM

Pete Prisco,

"Why is everyone up in arms about Tom Benson apparently pushing to move from New Orleans? Wasn't he considering it even before Hurricane Katrina hit? Aren't other big businesses moving out of New Orleans now? What about the levees? Don't they have to be fixed before the city can worry about an NFL team? It might be politically incorrect to bail on the city now, but let's not forget the Saints are a business. If it can't work in New Orleans, what's Benson supposed to do? "


BlackandBlue 10-21-2005 08:03 AM


Wayne Weaver (Jacksonville).
There's a red flag.

TallySaint 10-21-2005 08:07 AM

Call me crazy, but I was hoping to see Al Davis on the committee. For one reason - He would fight tooth and nail to keep a franchise out of Los Angeles.

Just a thought.


TallySaint 10-21-2005 08:14 AM


There's a red flag.

Euphoria 10-21-2005 09:53 AM

Blanco will probably try to sway the NFL to move the Saints to Baton Rouge.

jnormand 10-21-2005 01:41 PM

She won't have any thing to go on unless BR shows more fan support. No support, no Saints.

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