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tiggerpolice 06-16-2005 08:47 AM

Saints leaving is inevitable
Saints leaving is inevitable

Courier Sports Editor

The writing’s on the wall and has been for years.

We can ignore it all we want or dismiss it as irrational rants by pessimistic fans until we’re blue in the face.

But sooner or later, it’s going to happen.

It’s inevitable.

The ugly truth is New Orleans will lose the Saints.

Even though it will be harder than listening to Ashlee Simpson singing a cappella, Saints fans shouldn’t take it personally.

It’s business.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The landscape of the NFL has changed drastically since the team played its first game in 1967.

The NFL is no longer about fans.

Instead of fans, the NFL seeks corporations.

In the words of P-Diddy, it’s all about the Benjamins, baby, and cities like New Orleans that don’t have many, if any at all, just can’t support an NFL team financially.

While the NBA and Major League Baseball have guaranteed contracts for their players, the NFL with its exorbitant TV rights deals and corporate backing has practically given their owners guaranteed dollars.

And lots of them.

The way business is done now is the owner convinces his buddies who own the largest businesses in their respective cities to buy majority of the season tickets and luxury boxes.

The result: a term exclusive to the NFL, the guaranteed sellout.

Saints owner Tom Benson can’t do that in New Orleans because there are no major corporations, other than Entergy, to back him.

But there is a city with many major corporations that doesn’t have a team and creates more lust in the NFL than Angelina Jolie creates in Brad Pitt.

Yep, Los Angeles. And it doesn’t take Ken Jennings to figure out that moving a team from one of the smallest markets in the U.S. to the second largest equals big bucks.

The catch is Benson doesn’t want to sell the Saints, but word out of the league is that whichever team that relocates -- and yes, it will be a relocated team because the NFL has no expansion plans in the near future -- will have new ownership.

Benson doesn’t want to sell the team, but the possibility of cashing a check worth anywhere from $500 million to $800 million may be too large for him to turn down.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco wants to keep the Saints here, but not at the cost of doing even more financial harm to the state’s education and health care systems which are in worse shape than Paula Abdul’s reputation.

Building a new stadium for the Saints is out of the question and she can’t pledge to pay all but 10 percent of the $174 million it will take to renovate the Superdome.

Her hands may be tied. And the NFL doesn’t want them any other way. It wants the Saints to abandon New Orleans for Los Angeles.

And as we’ve seen all too often, whatever the NFL wants, it usually gets.

We’re going to lose the Saints.

Maybe not this year, maybe not the next.

But it’s going to happen.

And when we do, just remember, it’s nothing personal.

Just business.

Courier sports editor Jon T. Stewart can be reached at 857-2239 or

WhoDat 06-16-2005 09:24 AM

RE: Saints leaving is inevitable
Unfortunately, he's right. I've been saying this for a while now. The social and economic conditions in New Orleans simply aren't changing. If anything, the decline has been steady and constant. If you want to blame anyone, blame the lawmakers in the 80's who did nothing as big oil left, education fell off the face of the earth, and all of the city's educated young professionals fled.

Bottom line, the Saints will one day leave. If they can get a deal done now, it may not be for 10 or maybe even 20 years - but I doubt that it will be much longer than 10 years. I wouldn't be surprised if it were sooner.

mayoj 06-16-2005 09:28 AM

RE: Saints leaving is inevitable
That makes me sad. :cry:

Euphoria 06-16-2005 09:41 AM

RE: Saints leaving is inevitable
The editor is an idiot! Its an editorial not an article. What has kept the Saints in New Orleans so far? The economy across the contry is a bit down. Why run a perfectly profitable team out of town to a town where Taxes are outrageious, cost of living is crazy... and the town hasn't supported a team. THey rean the Rams out, they ran the Raiders out. If the league wanted a team in there so bad they wouldn't have allowed a team to leave. Just because the market is big doesn't mean they are going to make money there, they haven't! Its a basketball town! Other facts the editor fails to mention is that the NFL isn't going to allow Benso in LA. NEWS FLASH - they want new blood, and owner from the LA are to run the team, not old blood.

See here is another issue people fail to realize and that is LA is the scapegoat for the NFL. Everytime a team goes to renew its lease/contracts they get to pull the LA card out of a hat. Its a great excuse and in some peoples eyes looks great and makes perfectly good sense to have an nfl team there, so they us LA as a scare tactic in order to pad contracts. You hear Vikings could be moved there, New Orleans, and rumours are starting that it could very well be the Chargers... yes there contract is up 2008. Relax... all Benson is really doing is waiting to do is finance he own govenor in Baton Rouge and get the contract he wants. Thats what this has come to... Benson will get a deal with current gove. next off season or get his own gov. in there.

WhoDat 06-16-2005 12:02 PM

RE: Saints leaving is inevitable
I don't know that what the author is saying is that the Saints will move to LA. He's simply saying that sooner or later, they will move. He's probably right.

There is a real chance, IMO, that the Saints will move to LA - though I think it is a fairly small one. Overall, as of right now, I put the likelihood of a Saints move to LA at 25% at best. That said, I put the likelihood of a Saints move sometime in the future at 75%.

ssmitty 06-16-2005 05:25 PM

yes, it is sad..........
in my lifetime the root of all evil has been for the love of money...
etched in stone at the beginning............
i've seen loved ones sell out their own family, (mine to speak of because of a few bucks)
that is why i made a vow to never let myself succumb to this.
if they want it they can have it all........and i mean it............
i will never let money rule me,'s simple not worth it.......
turn on the batlight, this city needs a savior..........smitty

Euphoria 06-16-2005 05:37 PM

Concur, money isn't everything. Saints haven't started packing nor has Benson asked the NFL for reloaction permission. I don't think its time to send up the Bat Signal just yet.

frankeefrank 06-17-2005 12:41 AM

If they move... I will no longer watch NFL football. I am from Orange County, CA. Even if the Saints go there. I won't watch. Most of you won't belive me, but I am not lying. I boycotted the Rams-Titans Superbowl just because the two teams moved for money. I can do it again

Euphoria 06-17-2005 09:23 AM

I am in San Diego... I won't drive the 1.5 hours up to LA to see them either.

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