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tiggerpolice 06-14-2005 07:19 AM

Saints Belong In New Orleans
True Saints fans have always believed they were the best in the country. Now, we have conclusive proof. A study done by the Times Picayune has now definitely shown that our fans are the best in the league in terms of team loyalty.

Since the team was formed in 1967, the Saints have only won 234 games, which is the second lowest winning percentage in the NFL. The team is one of only four to have never appeared in the Super Bowl. However, even worse, the team has only one playoff victory and five appearances in the post-season in almost 40 years in the league.

Despite the dismal winning percentage, 17, 610,161 people have attended home Saints games since 1967. Among all the teams in the NFL, it is the tenth highest gross attendance total since the 1967 season. However, what is really impressive, is that divided by wins, the Saints have the highest attendance per victory of any team in the league, 76,088 per victory. Thus, the team is #1 in the league on the fan loyalty index.

In recent years, the Saints fans have sold out the Dome 36 times in a row, despite mediocre seasons. Now, ticket sales have languished to just over 27,000, which is just over half of the team’s goal. Public feuds between the Governor and Saints owner Tom Benson have not helped the cause. Also, everything about the future of the team is up in the air. The future of the stadium is unknown, politicians are unsure where the State of Louisiana will locate money owed to the team and the very existence of the Saints in New Orleans is in jeopardy.

However, this study should remind all of the power brokers in the negotiations that the team belongs in New Orleans. No fans have suffered like Saints fans and no fans deserve a NFL team more. Another analysis would surely show the team to be #1 in an important category. New Orleans is one of the poorest cities in the nation and the State of Louisiana is one of the poorest states. So, comparing NFL teams based on the economic well being of the region in which they play or the average income level of the host city would show that the Saints sell the most tickets per dollar of disposable income.

In other words, our fans are spending a higher percentage of our hard earned dollars on the Saints then any other fans in the NFL. So, loyalty coupled with a high percentage of disposable income going to the team shows how much the Saints mean to our area.

If the Saints left New Orleans, it would be an injustice to the people that really matter, not the players, coaches, owner or politicians, but the fans. Everyone involved owes it to the fans to make a deal that keeps the team here for the long run. It is the only right thing to do.

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