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JOESAM2002 01-10-2005 04:14 PM

Blanco's offer....
Governor: Saints must pay more of Superdome renovation cost
1/10/2005, 1:58 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

(AP) — The New Orleans Saints must pay for part of the cost of renovating the Superdome and agree to a reduction in the payments the state makes to the team, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Monday.

Outlining a proposal to renovate the Superdome and negotiate a new lease with the NFL, Blanco said the larger part of the financial burden must be assumed by the team, not the taxpayers.

"The state is spending way too much and spending the taxpayers' money in the wrong way," Blanco said.

The state and the team hope to work out a new, long-term deal that would keep the Saints in New Orleans. The current $186 million agreement with the team negotiated in 2001 by the administration of former Gov. Mike Foster runs through 2010, but the team can opt out after the 2005 season with no penalty.

Under the current agreement, Louisiana is obligated to make annual payments ranging from $15 million to $23.5 million. The state has had a difficult time making the payments because the taxes used for revenue have not generated as much money as projected.

Saints owner Tom Benson, who originally pushed for a new stadium, agreed last fall to a Superdome renovation, but wants continued payments and does not want to foot any of the bill for upgrading the stadium. Team officials did not return calls Monday for comment on Blanco's proposal.

Renovations to the Superdome will provide the Saints with the opportunity to earn more money, Blanco said. The renovation would produce new suites, more seating in the lower levels, which would sell for more, more concessions and other measures.

The estimated cost of the renovation is $168 million. Lawmakers who were briefed on the plan said last week it would require identifying between $10 million and $12 million in new funds. Blanco said, however, it was premature to begin looking for new taxes to pay for the deal. The key is reducing the payments to the Saints and having the team put up some money for the renovations, she said.

"We're trying to put them on an appropriate businesslike basis where they can earn their way," Blanco said.

The governor's proposal, which would run through 2025, also would include specific performance obligations, although she did not spell out what they would be, and eliminate the clauses that allow the Saints to get out of a deal early.

Blanco said she would call NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue about the proposal. Blanco said she believes the league and other owners would find Louisiana's offer reasonable and she hoped they would urge Benson to accept it.

"If the Saints are not willing to accept the basic principle of our offer, then we expect them to prove to us with a credible and independent financial review, why the proposal doesn't work for them," Blanco said.

Blanco said she would call Benson to discuss the proposal, but would not meet with him to negotiate until representatives had hammered out the main details.

If an agreement can be reached, renovation of the Superdome would begin in January 2006.

It don't sound good to me boys.

[Edited on 10/1/2005 by JOESAM2002]

spkb25 01-10-2005 04:16 PM

Blanco's offer....

Danno 01-10-2005 04:31 PM

Blanco's offer....
Sounds like she told the Saints to shove it up the ole Moss-hole. :mad:

I especially like the part where she comments she\'s gonna call Tagliabue.
Yea, call the guy who wants them to move to Los Angeles, good idea Blanco.

Tags-\"Yea Kathy, I\'d tell Benson to shove it up his azzz, yea thats it Kat, you go girl!\"

Step 2 of the relocation process for the Los Angeles Saints is right on track. Louisina is gonna get exactly what they asked for electing this two-faced democrat.

Well, we at least we won\'t have to worry about who our coach is. At least we have the Hornets! :(

saintswhodi 01-10-2005 04:42 PM

Blanco's offer....
The Saints and Tom Benson were blackmailing the state, plain and simple. This is just a counteroffer. So anyone who thinks she should just pony up agrees in tax hikes to pay Mr. Benson to have his mediocre team around? So the state pays for renovations, new facilities, and directly to Benson\'s pocket until 2020? Really? No way that flies in any other city. Now the state has no right to claim no money with the slush fund they have for pet projects, but let\'s be real. Tom feels he has the state over the barrel, and wants to drain everything they have. I agree with her, if the point of renovation is to generate more revenue, why the hell should the state have to keep paying? Dallas Cowboys just voted for a new stadium in arlington. Guess who is paying? Taxpayers. They VOTED FOR a tax for it. How many Louisianians have ever voted for a tax increase of any kind?

[Edited on 10/1/2005 by saintswhodi]

spkb25 01-10-2005 04:47 PM

Blanco's offer....
no i agree to some extent saintswhodi. my only problem is how many programs are worth cutting that you could do to keep the saints around. but if that is true and that money the state pays to the saints go\'s to bensons pocket then no they shouldnt pay anymore.

shadowdrinker 01-10-2005 05:01 PM

Blanco's offer....
What worries me is the fact that Blanco\'s proposals haven\'t changed much at all since the first one was made...I really don\'t think she\'s bluffing at\'s not a tactic..She put out those offers up..and I don\'t see her bending much, if any...And,,I don\'t see Benson bending..because he knows good and well he has a backdoor..with major revenue to be had either way he chooses to go...not to mention the fact Benson has been silent thus far, as far as hiring and firing go...It\'s not looking good..not if you want the Saints to stay in New Orleans that is..

spkb25 01-10-2005 05:04 PM

Blanco's offer....
that really is bad news

saintswhodi 01-10-2005 05:05 PM

Blanco's offer....
The money the state pays to \"the Team\" is to offset \"supposed\"(they refuse to open the books) revenue defecits the team was facing staying in New Orleans, even though the dome had like 30 something consec sell-outs. That was a bad deal by the last governor but he was leaving so what does he care. It\'s another administration\'s mess. SO what Benson is asking for is for the state to build the extra facilities he proposed outside of renovating the dome, and renovate the dome at no cost to him. Once the renovations are complete and extra revenue is being generated, he STILL wants the state to continue to line his pocket just for him being here. Uh-uh. No way. that\'s aload of crap. One or the other buddy. Either you help pay for the renos on the dome and the state continues to pay you a portion of the deal until 2020, or the state pays for all of it and you don\'t get another dime except for what your team generates. sounds fair to me.

Euphoria 01-10-2005 05:26 PM

Blanco's offer....
I don\'t think this is going bad, actually I see this on track.
Everyone needs to keep this into perspective, its just a buisness negociation. Offer this and counter offer that... I don\'t want to get really to invovled in all this becasue one thing The Saints won\'t be going to LA... The NFL doesn\'t want Benson in LA they want a different owner and Benson isn\'t going to put his team on the market.

What I think is stupid is that the State wants the Saints to pay for renovations but Benson doesn\'t own the Dome... I don\'t have a problem with the state renovating the Dome 100 percent. I don\'t have a problem with the state building facilites to help make the team better overall. I do have a problem with having to pay him to keep the Saints there. I think they are getting closer and closer to an agreement.
State renovates, builds a few things, maybe... and cut back on the payments to Benson to help state with renovations ect.

ScottyRo 01-10-2005 06:22 PM

Blanco's offer....
I don\'t care if it costs us the Saints or not...end the payments to Benson NOW. If he has a problem with only bringing in 5 million a year without the blackmail payments then he should sell or move. Guess what? He is not going to make more money in L.A. unless the NFL starts giving this franchise the type of breaks that other franchises get (see RAMS). If the Saints perform the same way they have for the last 37 years in L.A., less fans will be there than currently attend Saints games.

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