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GumboBC 05-21-2004 12:39 PM

Saints not moving to L.A. or Anywhere else
 
Last week's suggestion in this space regarding the Saints, that owner Tom Benson might finally have reached the end of his loyalty fuel tank with the state of Louisiana facing a $10 million-$12 million shortfall on a $15 million payment due the team June 1, elicited a call from club executive vice president Arnold Fielkow. The point man on negotiations with the state, Fielkow strongly reiterated Benson's intention to keep the team right where it currently resides, and shot down any rumors the Saints could be headed to the Left Coast.

Given ownership's ties to New Orleans, we can't disagree with Fielkow, and he certainly knows a lot more about backroom politics, especially Louisiana-style, than do we. Notable, though, was this thought from Fielkow: "We do have a contract with the state and we would hope they will honor that contract." That could be difficult and one wonders how much Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who inherited a $186 million deal that was negotiated by her predecessor, will dig in her heels.

She has already said the state will not dig into its general fund to make up the shortage. And a firm hired by the state to study the contract has recommended that the deal be reworked and that the Saints assume more responsibility and increased risk.

Club officials are scheduled to meet with the governor on Friday and, since we're heading to New Orleans for a weekend of family business, we're willing to bet an order of beignets at Café Du Monde that the situation gets a lot worse before it gets better. OK, so Benson isn't looking longingly West, but that doesn't mean the city won't become The Big Uneasy while the two sides battle over money that Louisiana claims it doesn't have and can't raise.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/column...len&id=1806169

[Edited on 21/5/2004 by GumboBC]

saintz08 05-21-2004 04:11 PM

Saints not moving to L.A. or Anywhere else
 
Hate to see what season ticket sales would look like if they hinted the Saints might move west .

Of couse so might Benson ..... ;)

WhoDat 05-21-2004 04:35 PM

Saints not moving to L.A. or Anywhere else
 
Season ticket sales already can\'t be great after the last few seasons. This is about to get real ugly.

GumboBC 05-21-2004 04:46 PM

Saints not moving to L.A. or Anywhere else
 
Quote:

Hate to see what season ticket sales would look like if they hinted the Saints might move west .

Of couse so might Benson ..... ;)
Hey, it sure didn\'t stop Benson from threating to move the last time did it? ;)

Let\'s see..... If I\'m trying to get something from the state and the only leverage I have is moving the team.........Then, why would I weaken my position by saying I\'m not leaving? There is no way Benson is not going to get his money and he knows it.

Oh, and season ticket sales are doing just fine. I think they\'re slightly below last years record setting pace...


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