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JOESAM2002 01-13-2005 05:25 PM

Is Louisiana Governor Overplaying NFL Saints Hand?

Is Louisiana Governor Overplaying NFL Saints Hand?
Author: Jeff Crouere | 1/13/2005 Home : State

Governor Blanco is playing hardball with the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately, the team and not the Governor is not the one holding all of the cards. Tom Benson could profit handsomely by moving the team to Los Angeles. Yet, if the Saints leave, we can forget about getting another team.

Governor Blanco responded to the Saints proposal with stinging comments at her press conference Monday. Blanco wants the team to contribute $40 million toward the Dome renovation and accept reduced payments from the State, even though her predecessor Mike Foster agreed to the current payment structure.

To pay for the renovations and the team’s payments, a $12 million annual revenue source will have to be located. According to Blanco, this source must be from the New Orleans area, “It should not increase the burden to the state general fund, not by one penny." Why? The team benefits the whole state financially. Revenue the Saints bring in does not just stay in the New Orleans area. Since state government just funded a handsome incentive package for Union Tank Car Company to move to Alexandria, why can’t state government fund an incentive package to keep the Saints in New Orleans? As the tank car company will be important to Alexandria, the Saints are important to the entire New Orleans area and more.

There is obviously an anti-New Orleans bias at play in some parts of the state. It seems that Blanco might be trying to appeal to that constituency. It also is a fact that Benson is a Republican who supported Bobby Jindal in last year’s race for Governor. Also, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was a Jindal supporter. Hopefully, payback is not motivating Governor Blanco as she deals with this key New Orleans issue.

Blanco also seems upset that she has had to spend time on this issue. "Personally, I think that we have spent a disproportionate amount of time and energy (during the past year) on the issue of paying for the Saints, time we could have devoted to important issues like education, health care and creating jobs," she said.

Well, to keep an NFL team in the state is a major issue requiring time. Although the Governor may not care much about the team, thousands of fans feel passionately about the 38 year old team. Governor Blanco almost seems to be daring Benson to move the team to Los Angeles. Blanco postponed negotiations with the team multiple times. The clock has been ticking for quite a while and now the Governor presents a proposal that is far away from the position of the team.

It is unfortunate that the Governor is taking this posture. I believe it will make an ultimate solution more difficult. Everyday, the chances grow stronger that the team leaves New Orleans.

[Edited on 13/1/2005 by JOESAM2002]

shadowdrinker 01-13-2005 05:38 PM

Is Louisiana Governor Overplaying NFL Saints Hand?
That is the real problem..The State is too poor to support an NFL Franchise...without major help from the owner..and benson isn\'t going to give in...there\'s 750 million reasons why he would want to sell...The Texans sold for 700 million...and Benson could easily payout the State whatever penalties might acrue,..if any at all..I know there is escape clauses in that contract...and the money is just too big to ignore..He could never sell them for the kind of money he can get now...And not only from buisness standpoint..but..a parents standpoint..It would greatly benefit his family to make this deal..I hope he doesn\'t sell..of course..but..I could understand why he would

WhoDat 01-13-2005 06:59 PM

Is Louisiana Governor Overplaying NFL Saints Hand?
A well-put article that hits the nail on the head. An anti-New Orleans bias. What a BlTCH!!!!

FireVenturi 01-13-2005 06:59 PM

Is Louisiana Governor Overplaying NFL Saints Hand?
everyday i feel more and more like they are leavin\' :( :casstet:

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