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JOESAM2002 12-11-2004 11:37 AM

At least someone has some sense...
State Senator: Losing the Saints would cost Louisiana dearly


SLIDELL -- If the New Orleans Saints leave Louisiana, there is no chance any other professional team will come to the state, Sen. Tom Schedler (R-Sli.) said Wednesday.
During a speech to the Greater Slidell Area Chamber of Commerce, Schedler told the group that he is as frustrated with the football team's performance, as any other fan, but that should have no bearing on whether the team stays or goes.

He has always opposed a new stadium, he said, as it would not be the best decision economically. A new stadium had been discussed earlier in negotiations, but now it seems renovating the Superdome is a more likely scenario.

Schedler said that other than building a new stadium, he is in favor of doing what it takes to keep the Saints in Louisiana.

"This vote is not about frustration with the them on the field," he said. "It must be based on sound business decisions and economics, not about what they're doing on the field."

According to some economists, the Saints bring the state an estimated $400 million. Schedler has his own method for deciding if that amount is worth keeping the Saints around.

"I always cut the figure in half to keep everybody honest and think: does it still make us money?" Schedler said. "Even if it only produces $10 million in net revenue, where else are we going to get that extra $10 million?"

He said if the state loses the Saints, the Hornets basketball team will be sure to follow, and no other professional team will come to Louisiana again. Having no professional sports team will mean the state will lose out on a national level.

"The fact that you have an NBA or an NFL team is an asset," he said. "We will never get any other professional team again."

Schedler said he doesn't know what sort of negotiations team owner Tom Benson is thinking of but suggests "everybody have cooler heads about this."

WhoDat 12-11-2004 01:38 PM

At least someone has some sense...
From what I\'ve seen, and this is a blanket statement, most economists funded by franchises find that the economic impact of a team is huge - like hundreds of millions of dollars a year in impact. That probably isn\'t true. I tend to agree with the \"independant\" ones that say that franchises have little impact ultimately.

I mean, think about it. If you didn\'t spend money on the Saints - on tickets, concessions, merchandise, etc. - would that money disappear? Of course not. You\'d still spend it, it would just be distributed more evenly across the market.

However, a team is not totally without value. I think their value is in the intangibles, the prestige of having a team. Say what you will, but being in a place with a football team, or any team, creates the perception of being in a more cosmopolitan area.

Many politicians and businessmen have spoken about the renaissance in New Orleans. Well, I haven\'t seen much of it except on Canal street. If the Saints leave, that will tell me one thing - there is no such revitalization. The town is deteriorating into the overweight, ignorant, drunken cesspool that every tourist I know describes it to be. That\'s a shame.

JKool 12-11-2004 01:56 PM

At least someone has some sense...
Who, I\'m no economist, so correct me if I\'m wrong here, but I don\'t think this is right:


I mean, think about it. If you didn\'t spend money on the Saints - on tickets, concessions, merchandise, etc. - would that money disappear? Of course not. You\'d still spend it, it would just be distributed more evenly across the market.
Some money would in a sense \"disappear\" and not be so evenly distributed.

First, there would be one less thing to spend money on, which could encourage savings rather than alternate spending.

Second, Benson would keep more of his money, rather than distributing it to players. This would seriously decrease the number of people spending money on a number of different things and probably decrease the number of places that money would be spent. Also, Benson really can spend his money on so many things that he needs - so he may spend less and he will definitely spend it in fewer places than a bunch of people (the players he\'s paid).

Third, if the Saints bring people from outside of the state to the game, that is obviously outside money in (and I agree with your intangibles idea here).

Finally, there are all the jobs associated with having this team here - concessions, personnel, assistant trainers, grounds keepers, etc. Those jobs won\'t just magically reappear if the team leaves - so there will be an economic impact of increased unemployment (though we may agree that that is hard to calculate, I believe it can be).

Thus, I believe, the economic impact of the team is not calculated in terms of how much money the team makes, but how the local markets are affected by the team being there. Granted, locals would continue to spend money, but this isn\'t all there is to it. At least, as I understood it.

WhoDat 12-11-2004 02:07 PM

At least someone has some sense...
You\'re absolutely right. I meant to touch on jobs in my post, I\'m glad you brought it up, I forgot. Jobs would be big.

Otherwise, I just don\'t buy the - \"well, last year I spent $2000 on Saints season tickets, but since they moved I think I\'ll just put that money in my retirement account this year\" argument. It\'s disposable income and people will dispose of it one way or another. Even if they do save it - good! Americans need to save far more than they do now anyway. Maybe that\'s why everyone in NO is poor - they spend all of their money on the Saints. ;)

You may be right J - but I have a hard time believing that the economic impact of losing the Saints would be greater than the $30 to $40 million dollars a year the team wants the State to pay to renovate the Dome and pay the team. They shouldn\'t be getting payments in the first place. Give them a tax break. Hell, don\'t make them pay any tax at all a la Boeing in Chicago. But if they can\'t make money beyond that, then they should leave.

JKool 12-11-2004 02:29 PM

At least someone has some sense...
Who, I too am skeptical of the actual \"revenue\" the team brings to the state. That is why I was interested in the \"economic impact\" the team has. As I recall, those are different questions.

As far as what the state will pay, I think I\'m mostly in your camp on this one. The state should be willing to pay some, if there is both solid \"econmic impact\" and \"intangibles\" as you note. That is, if the team is actually good for the state, I see no reason that some tax dollars shouldn\'t go there (think of it like buiding a state park or a zoo or something).

Also, the Dome renovation is a single, or very few initial, outlay(s). After that, the \"price\" for the state will decrease to whatever incentive they give Benson... er, I mean the team, since, no doubt, as rich as he is, he gets plenty of redirected tax dollars in one way or another.

WhoDat 12-11-2004 06:52 PM

At least someone has some sense...
OK - but $200 million averages out to $20 mil a year for 10 years right? Actually, it\'s worth more b/c of the present value of money theory. Plus 15+ million a year that the state pays them now comes out to about $40 million a year. Is the \"economic impact\" that big? Do they provide that many jobs? Sell that much merchandise that people would otherwise not buy or spend the money on anything else? The biggest \"economic impact\" that the Saints bring to the state, IMO, is the opportunity to bring a Super Bowl back. That\'s $300 million that otherwise WOULD NOT be generated.

Anyway, I think an extra $40 million a year spent on business generation or education is probably better spent.... That said, I don\'t want the team to leave, but the guy making $8 an hour shouldn\'t have his tax dollars raked to pay a guy whose team is only work half a billion dollars so that he can make $25 or $30 million this year instead of $10 million.

spkb25 12-11-2004 07:02 PM

At least someone has some sense...
if the saints leave i think that would almost certainly cost the state money. every couple of years there is a super bowl played there. then there is the annual sugar bowl.

the thing to me is i had inqired about moving to new orleans to get season tickets. it was then i found out that you are taxed on how much your car is worth. meaning if you have a nicer car than someone who deicdes not to work, you will be taxed more on it. then if you have a more expensive house than someone who decides not to work has, you are taxed more on the house. my god isnt that communism.

either way i will no longer move to new orleans because they want to collect as many tax dollars they can from the working to provide the ones that dont work with more.

so i would say if you know that that is what your state is about, then if they get more people who are not working as a result of loosing jobs, because of the saints leaving, then i would say the people would be taxed more. that would be a problem as usual for the working!

JOESAM2002 12-11-2004 10:33 PM

At least someone has some sense...
Cool, so then that $2000.00 I spent on Saints tickets and merchandise, I can spend on that vacation to Mexico. How much of that money stays in the state? I\'m just glad to see that some legislators are trying to keep the Saints here. There are ways to spread the cost of keeping this team in state, we just need to find them. I like the idea of the lottery or other lottery related means to this end. Lord knows we have enough gamblers in this state. Maybe ever tax casino patrons, let out of state people help too.

mutineer10 12-12-2004 07:23 AM

At least someone has some sense...
I\'ve posted similar comments before, but I\'m an example of folks bringing money to your state because of the Saints.

I live in Birmingham, so it doesn\'t really make sense for me to drop the $2,000 on season tickets. Still, I usually eBay a pair for 4 or 5 games a season (usually purchased from someone in the New Orleans area). These 4 or 5 games require 4 or 5 hotel reservations for my wife and I, usually costing us between $80 and $140 per night depending on where we want to stay. We\'ll usually stay for Friday and Saturday, checking out Sunday morning to hit the game and then drive home. While there, we naturally spend money (usually a lot of it) on meals, drinks, nightclubs, knick-knacks, parking, etc. By the end of the weekend, we\'ve contributed a significant amout of money to the city, and thereby the state.

I can\'t believe we are the only couple of fans who regularly travel in just because of the Saints. Not to mention the fans of visiting teams who\'ll spend as much, if not more, money than we do. Like I\'ve also said before, not too many people will make a weekend of a Panthers game hoping to catch a lot of touristy stuff in Charlotte, New Orleans, however, makes a great deal of it\'s money in tourism, and it\'s easy to see folks making a weekend of a Saints game. Just hit Bourbon St. the night before a home game for evidence...

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