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spkb25 09-01-2005 09:41 PM

this is hopeful
Saints eyeing Baton Rouge for home schedule news services
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Katrina Has Forced the Saints Out of New Orleans ESPN Motion

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue says it's unlikely the New Orleans Saints will play in New Orleans this season after the devastation Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath inflicted on the city, but the team told ESPN that keeping games in Louisiana is a priority.

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"At this point you have to proceed on the assumption … that they may be unable to play in New Orleans at all for the entire season," Tagliabue said Thursday in an interview with CNBC.

"If things evolve in a positive way, then that would be something that we could adjust to. But our assumption is that for planning purposes, we should assume it will be difficult if not impossible to play in New Orleans at all this year."

The Saints will move into a hotel in San Antonio, Texas, this weekend and practice in San Antonio in preparation for their regular-season opener at Carolina Sept. 11. They have spent this week in San Jose, Calif., and played their final exhibition Thursday night in Oakland.

But it still hasn't been decided where they will play their regular-season opener Sept. 18 against the New York Giants or play the rest of their games.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis on Thursday told ESPN's Colleen Dominguez the team would prefer to play this season's home schedule in Louisiana and the logical choice would be LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Loomis expects a decision to be reached in a matter of days.

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, which runs Giants Stadium, has offered to host the upcoming Giants-Saints game in New Jersey. It would likely be played Monday, Sept. 19 because the Jets will play Miami that Sunday at Giants Stadium.

Tagliabue said moving the game to New Jersey was one possibility.

He also said games could be played at another NFL stadium or at a non-NFL stadium. He didn't name any specifically, but the Alamodome in San Antonio seats 65,000 for football, about the same as the Saints' regular home at the Superdome in New Orleans, which was heavily damaged by Katrina.

Tagliabue, who announced on Wednesday that the NFL was donating $1 million to the recovery effort, added that the emphasis should be the total recovery of the region hit by the hurricane. So did Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association in a statement released on Thursday, although Upshaw did not immediately say what form the union's help would take.

"We want to really emphasize above all that sport is a small part of life," Tagliabue said. "We want to use are visibility and the respect we have with the public and the respect our teams have to support the national recovery program. That's the big thing."


WhoDat 09-02-2005 09:50 AM

RE: this is hopeful

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis on Thursday told ESPN's Colleen Dominguez the team would prefer to play this season's home schedule in Louisiana and the logical choice would be LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Loomis expects a decision to be reached in a matter of days.
Great to hear.

BrooksMustGo 09-02-2005 10:01 AM

RE: this is hopeful
That would be really nice for the people of Louisiana. It seems indecent to talk about putting the saints in LA this season.

ScottyRo 09-02-2005 10:04 AM

RE: this is hopeful
If Benson and the NFL move the games out of state they better refund all money plus interest to the people who have already bought season tickets.

"YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH" that they'll do the decent and respectful thing.

spkb25 09-02-2005 10:07 AM

RE: this is hopeful
i hope they do scotty. you dont rub salt into an open wound

ScottyRo 09-02-2005 12:48 PM

RE: this is hopeful

LOS ANGELES - The New Orleans Saints are not considering Los Angeles as a temporary home, team and National Football League officials told the Los Angeles Times newspaper Thursday. "There's no L.A. alternative," Saints director of media relations Greg Bensel told The Times in a story posted on the paper's Web site. "Not in our book."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that Los Angeles wasn't in the league's plans as a temporary site.

The Saints are evaluating contingency plans if they can't play this season at New Orleans' Superdome, damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The team has moved its headquarters to San Antonio, where it will begin practicing next week. San Antonio is among the cities the Saints could play in this season, along with Baton Rouge, La., Jackson, Miss., and Houston, The Times reported.

I still say the games should be played in La. If not, then Jackson would be preferable to San Antonio. Keep it in the region where the team's fan base is. Don't ship the games out of the area just because one particular city is where the owner got rich.

Euphoria 09-02-2005 01:59 PM

RE: this is hopeful
I want them in Baton Rouge if nothing else send them to San Antonio... all that Texas has done for New Orleans people its cool with me.

TallySaint 09-03-2005 03:33 PM

Personally, I think the Saints should home themselves where there is the most stability, for lack of a better word. If San Antonio is best for office space, practice facilities, and a home field away from home, so be it. I'd rather the Saints be focused on football (as much as possible, of course) rather than packing and unpacking suitcases.

My 2 cents.


TallySaint 09-03-2005 04:05 PM

From San Antonio Express-News...

San Antonio councilman Chip Haass said Thursday city leaders have discussed offering the Saints an incentive package that would include a guarantee for eight sellouts at the Alamodome. On Friday, two members of the council said the city should forget football and focus on caring for refugees.

"I just think it's inappropriate to enter into a discussion at this time about a football team when people are losing their lives," City Councilwoman Patti Raddle said.

Sheila McNeal, whose District 2 has evacuees staying at Davis Middle School, agreed.

"I don't think that's something we should be concentrating on," McNeal said. "I'm not entertaining any dialogue about that. We are trying to get these people comfortable."

Mayor Phil Hardberger made similar comments in a written statement released by his communications director.

"Our first responsibility must be to those who need our help," Hardberger said. "I think we all need to be focused on what's really important right now."

Story includes Giants game, Benson comments, LSU etc...


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