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Saints: marching out??? Whodat's view on relocation rumors.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; San Antonio Tom Benson has a house in San Antonio. His friends are there. He has business interests there. The city has the Alamo Dome, a stadium that has seated 64,000 for college Bowl Games. The city is larger (1.4 ...

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Old 05-16-2005, 06:36 PM   #11
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Tom Benson has a house in San Antonio. His friends are there. He has business interests there. The city has the Alamo Dome, a stadium that has seated 64,000 for college Bowl Games. The city is larger (1.4 million according to the 2000 census). They already support a successful professional basketball team. Oh no, they could be a real threat, huh?
Sorry to return to the board with a linkless post, but I was listening to Gerry V on the way home from work and he read a recent editorial from the San Antonio newspaper regarding the Saints rumors. San Antonio pundits had been expressing doubts about the proposal almost immediately following the news, but apparently the move has become even more unlikely following the Saturday passage of some bill called Proposition 3.

Forgive my lack of concrete information - though it should be posted on the 1280 AM website soon - I was weaving in and out of downtown traffic on I-10, so my attention was a bit divided. I was also unable to find the article he read on any website (dunno the name of SA's local newspaper). Anyway, from what I could gather, Proposition 3 is a bill commiting future city funds to projects such as roads, public transit and parks. The op-ed piece, written by a San Antonio staff writer, seemed to imply that the passage of said bill made it even more unlikely - if not impossible - that the city of San Antonio could come up with the necessary funds to attract and support an NFL team.

The Alamo Dome issue was also raised, and it placed the bare-bones minimum upgrade costs at around $140 million - an amount many feel exceeds the value of the Alamo Dome entirely.
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Old 05-16-2005, 07:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by WhoDat
Gee Scotty, how can you tell? LOL

I'm surprised no one disagrees. Blanco has been viewed as the devil for a while now by a lot of fans. I agreed that the state wasn't doing enough for a long time. Until I really did some research to see what was going on. For a while now, Benson's been giving me reason to change my mind.
I disagree, and the $360M they just "found" has something to do with it!
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Old 05-16-2005, 07:47 PM   #13
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Living in San Antone mutey, I can back up your story. I have read the article, and if I can find it, I will post it. Basically, there is a limit to how much taxes can be in a given city in Texas. It's a Texas state law. San Antonio is already at that threshhold, or half a point off or whatever. BAsically, they do not have the ability to raise the funds this year. Could change in the future. The wild card in that is Austin. They have more availability in their tax base and could do something joint with San Antone in between the two, since the drive is like New Orleans to Baton Rouge, with some empty spots in between. But San Antonio alone can't afford to raise it, but that's not to say a wealthy individual couldn't step in and make it happen. Just the city can't do it yet.
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:10 AM   #14
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Nice post Whodat! That was an awful lot of info. Maybe you should submit that to Blanco. She might hire you as a chief negotiator. Good post bro.
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Old 05-17-2005, 06:42 AM   #15
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Great essay.

I'd like to point out that Benson is not as ignorant of the Louisiana State financial situation as some might think. As it stands today, all revenues from oil drilling and refining are based on a budget of $28 per barrel. That cannot change until the next budget cycle which begins in July. The "extra" money that was found is likely to have been "discovered" when the taxes on $51 per barrel were beginning to be realized. By law, the next budget will be based on an average that is closer to $51 per barrel, when futures contracts that the State entered into at the higher prices matured. While it would be short sighted to believe that oil prices will continue to be at that level (see the Great Oil Bust of 1983-1994), developments in China mitigate that short sightedness and the likelihood of high tax revenues is a reasonable going forward assumption. At nearly double the current revenues, there would be well more than enough income to fund the Saints, schools, roads and graft.

Sure, Benson's position is about as nakedly greedy as one can have, but he sees the real number of chips in the LA coffers and he's holding out for as much as he can get.

What I can't understand is that it would be in Benson's best interest to make the State more attractive by wooing a large or set of medium sized companies to NO/LA so that he can windfall from naming rights and sell those high priced boxes. Taking the money out of the State makes it hard for the State to offer tax incentives for relocation.

As a final note, estate tax law in LA, while much improved, makes it hard to transfer wealth. If Benson wanted to move equity to his daughter/heirs, why wouldn't the State make an exemption part of the deal. That would be huge. Moving the Saints out of LA would deny the estate tax portion anyway. Please don't read into this that I am wishing ill health on Mr. Benson or that I am suggesting that his health is in question; he is 78.
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:02 AM   #16
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Great post WhoDat.
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:08 AM   #17
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A Little Bird says:
X factor- NFL wants to grow into "other" markets. Mexico is the other market (As stated repeadly by the NFL). An NFL team in a majority Latino city such as San Ant would do wonders for the NFL's desire to crack the Latin market. This move is driven by more then just the "money" (but it really always comes down to the money in the end). The Saints or "Roughriders" as they will be renamed after the move will be positioned to face our nabors to the south and lead to an expansion in Mexico City sometime in the next 5 years. Benson is just a willing tool for this and the impass with the state of LA is just a great smoke screen for the NFL to position itself for growth into this market.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:10 AM   #18
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LOL - the Roughriders. You mean, a group of wealthy white Americans who scurried on down to Mexico and beat the crap out of them 200 years ago? Yeah, the Mexicans will lover that.

Originally Posted by Chad504boy
Trying to make Benson look like a greedy white class owner- classless
Not well thought out Chad. First, Benson is crying poor. He clearly is not. Calling him wealthy and saying that his intentions are not what's best for the State but what is best for him is calling a spade a spade. That's true. Saying he's greedy and lying... well, if he's not, why won't he open his books to the State. He is greedy.

Originally Posted by Chad504boy
Leaking a story on a multi-millionaire business man who owns several companies probably totaling near 1 billion dollars in value owning a yacht- classless
Blanco didn't leak the story. The Times Picayunne did. Furthermore, the issue is NOT that Benson owns a yacht. It's that his FOOTBALL organization (Benson Football) bought a yacht shortly after getting a deal with the state worth just about what they yacht cost (for that year's payment anyway). Sure, that's not suspicious at all.

Benson: "I'm so broke. This market sucks. If you don't pay me I'll have to leave b/c I just can't keep up with other teams."

State: "OK Tom. Forbes says you're 6th in the NFL in Income, and you won't open your books, but we'll pay you what you want anyway. We trust you."

Benson: "Thanks State. PS - that organization that you just paid $15 million to... it just bought a $15 million yacht. There's no correlation, don't worry about it. I'm only telling you b/c someone else already outted me. Otherwise, you never would have known about my secret 122 foot yacht."

Now there is good faith if I've ever seen it.

Originally Posted by Chad504boy
Trying to make the state burdens and economic woes on one of the biggest companies and maybe the biggest economic boost in the state as part of their problem- classless
One study from a guy at UNO said the Saints have a $400 million annual economic impact. Another from an organization OUT OF STATE said that the Saints generate no real economic impact. I don't see how they could. The State has given the team every possible economic avenue by which it could make money.

Moreover, this just shows that you at best, misunderstand what Blanco has said. She NEVER blamed the State's problems on the Saints. She did say that the State has money problems. It does. She also said that it doesn't make sense to pour money into a sports franchise that has questionable ROI when the State needs that money for so many other things. But hey, Benson wants to get richer, so the State should just shut up and pay right? From $70 million in 1985 to $627 million in 2004, and that's not enough. $40 million in Income per year isn't enough. Benson's yacht is only 122 feet after all!!! I hear the some owners have 150 footers!!!

Originally Posted by Chad504boy
Starting negotiations out on "possibly building a stadium" when she has NO intentions what so ever to even think about building a new stadium NOR waiting for the results of the study that she SPENT tax dollars on doing.- classless
Sure. Trying to find a way to please the greedy owner is classless. She should have told him to shove it right off the bat.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:32 AM   #19
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Well I have to say... sure it looks like the they are in position to be moved but there are to many factors at this point that I just don't see it happening at all. Benson will be run out of the state for giving the team up and he has way to many assests in the state. NFL doesn't want Benson running a L.A. team. I simply view all this mess as negociations... and I am not going to lose any sleep over it. Secondly, although I live only a couple of hours from L.A. and I would get to see the Los Angeles Saints more often than not I don't think I could stomach watching that team, I think I would be ill every time I hear the name much less see our Le Fluer being waved in another state.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Euphoria
I think I would be ill every time I hear the name much less see our Le Fluer being waved in another state.
I don't think you'd have to worry. I'm sure they'll change the name and the logo. The Fluer De Lis being on the helmet of a team in L.A. makes absolutely no sense - even acknowledging the move.

Still, the easiest thing for Benson to do is stay. He has been in "extort the state" mode for 4 years now (if not longer). He'll continue to use moving and outside investor threats to further his agenda of becoming the greediest old bastard in the counrty.
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