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N.O. mayor seeking Blanco-Benson talks

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as mediator between the state and the Saints? Nagin said Tuesday he's working behind the scenes to arrange a meeting between Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson. "Right now, they're not ...

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Old 05-20-2005, 12:18 AM   #1
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N.O. mayor seeking Blanco-Benson talks

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as mediator between the state and the Saints?

Nagin said Tuesday he's working behind the scenes to arrange a meeting between Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson.

"Right now, they're not talking," he said. "I'm hopeful they can get together."

Nagin said he ran into Benson two weeks ago and urged him to talk to the governor. Benson, he said, steered the conversation to the upcoming NFL season.

Benson recently rejected Blanco's offer to renovate the Superdome in exchange for the football team helping with the cost and getting by with fewer state dollars. He chose to stick with his current deal, which guarantees the team $186.5 million in state subsidies through 2010.

Tim Coulon, the governor's point person on the Saints, said he's not talked to the team in weeks.

"The governor's expressed an interest in meeting, and Mr. Benson's chosen not to," Coulon said.


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