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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Latest Saints proposal for new or improved stadium to be released soon 04:33 PM CST on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 Associated Press The New Orleans Saints plan to unveil their latest proposal for a stadium upgrade and deal with the ...

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Old 11-12-2004, 01:48 AM   #1
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Latest on the stadium proposal....

Latest Saints proposal for new or improved stadium to be released soon
04:33 PM CST on Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Associated Press



The New Orleans Saints plan to unveil their latest proposal for a stadium upgrade and deal with the state to the public before meeting with Gov. Kathleen Blanco and the Louisiana Legislature, Saints vice president Arnold Fielkow said on Wednesday.


"We've been working very hard on a proposal that insures the team will be here longterm," Fielkow said. "We hope to have it ready to present in the next couple of weeks."


The Saints had called a news conference last month to present the proposal, but canceled it. The reason given was the upcoming marriage of team owner Tom Benson. The Saints (3-5) have lost four of their last five games, however, and there has been speculation that the team has held off on the proposal hoping for a victory and a more receptive atmosphere.


Fielkow would not reveal what line the new proposal would take, but Gov. Kathleen Blanco has said that the idea of building a new stadium for the New Orleans Saints "looks like it's on its last breath." Public sentiment has shifted toward renovating the Superdome, Blanco said.


"I think we'll have a very solid proposal that shows a lot of flexibility," Fielkow said.


Amid threats by owner Tom Benson to move the team, the Legislature approved $187 million in concessions and payment to the Saints in 2001 to keep them in the Superdome through 2010. The issue was reopened this summer when the state had to borrow $7 million from a state economic development fund to fill in holes in its $15 million payment.


Blanco said any stadium plan involving the Saints would need a regional funding source since "the state itself does not have the resources to do this."
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Old 11-12-2004, 02:00 AM   #2
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Latest on the stadium proposal....

Here\'s the states side of it.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana\'s top stadium official agrees with Gov. Kathleen Blanco that proposals to build a new stadium for the NFL\'s Saints are virtually dead.


Tim Coulon, chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition Commission, said before a monthly meeting Thursday that the commission is almost certain to support renovating the Louisiana Superdome instead.


\"The numbers that we\'ve seen thus far really points that a renovation would be a more cost-effective approach,\" Coulon said, adding that he thinks the Saints \"are receptive to a renovated dome.\"


Coulon said officials also expect the team to use at least some of its state subsidies -- currently around $15 million annually and rising as high as $23.5 million from 2008-10 -- to help pay for stadium renovations.


Saints vice president Arnold Fielkow said Wednesday that the team will soon make public its own proposal aimed at keeping the Saints in New Orleans \"long-term.\"


While the Saints are expected to accept a dome renovation, Fielkow has said only that the Saints\' latest proposal \"shows a lot of flexibility.\" He said he preferred to withhold details until the announcement, originally scheduled on Oct. 27 but postponed to accommodate owner Tom Benson\'s wedding plans. No new date has been set.


Doug Thornton, general manager for the Superdome and New Orleans Arena, said he has received a preliminary draft of one of the studies pertaining to the feasibility and costs associated with either a dome renovation or a new stadium.


Thornton said the study indicates that renovations would cost around $160 million and could be completed in phases so that the Saints, Tulane, the Bayou Classic and annual bowl games would not have to be relocated for a season.


Thornton said the study estimated costs for a new stadium at around $500 million.


Coulon added that community interest for a new stadium \"has been less than enthusiastic,\" while the hotel industry has vocally opposed a new proposal to combine a new stadium with a convention center expansion.


As for Superdome renovations, there has been talk -- but only that so far -- that the Saints would want the grounds around the building spruced up to accommodate tailgate parties better, Coulon said. There are no cost estimates for that yet.


Dome officials said the renovations themselves would likely include adding and reconfiguring premium seats and moving them closer to the field; adding luxury suites; widening certain concourses; adding bathrooms and concession stands; and converting some of the stadium\'s second-level convention space into trendy lounges with glass walls that will offer a view of the city and provide direct, private access to club-level seating.


State officials have been awaiting the Saints\' proposal anxiously while staying current with periodic reports out of Los Angeles concerning the NFL\'s plans to re-establish itself there.


Because the NFL already has 32 teams, most reports have suggested the league would prefer to move an existing team to Los Angeles rather than creating a 33rd team, which would further dilute talent and cause scheduling complications.


The Saints routinely come up as the most likely option because of ongoing stadium concerns and the fact that New Orleans is among the league\'s smallest markets. Los Angeles would be one of the largest.


\"I don\'t think there\'s any official concern\" about a possible move to Los Angeles, Coulon said. \"We\'re getting briefed, but more importantly, the focus here is getting our act together and getting an agreement. Tom Benson has said consistently he wants to be here. The governor said she wants the team to remain here. If you build on that premise, we\'re going to work out something.\"

Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt!!!!!

"Every time you think, you weaken the nation!" Moe Howard...The Three Stooges.
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:18 AM   #3
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Latest on the stadium proposal....

The Saints (3-5) have lost four of their last five games, however, and there has been speculation that the team has held off on the proposal hoping for a victory and a more receptive atmosphere.
:givebeer: That\'s nice. We\'ll all be waiting on the edge of our rickety seats in the soon-to-be-condemned Dome.

Oh, brother...

[Edited on 12/11/2004 by mutineer10]

[Edited on 12/11/2004 by mutineer10]
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