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TallySaint 09-29-2005 06:55 AM

12,000 Tickets Left, Injury Report, Etc.
12,000 tickets left for Saints' San Antonio debut

By Mike Triplett and Brian Allee-Walsh, Times-Picayune

SAN ANTONIO – More than 12,000 tickets remain for the Saints’ Alamodome opener on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
But the team is confident that some local San Antonio businesses will agree to guarantee the remaining tickets in order to avoid a local television blackout. The NFL mandates that teams must sell out their games 48 hours in advance of kickoff in order to avoid a blackout.

Saints owner/executive Rita Benson LeBlanc stressed that tickets will still be available for purchase to both the general public and potential sponsors. But she and Christian Archer, special assistant to San Antonio mayor Phil Hardberger, said they were confident that one or more local businesses would agree to pick up the tab if the game is not sold out.
They did not identify the businesses by name but expected an announcement on Thursday.

The practice of guarantees is common in the NFL. The Saints have often worked out similar agreements with the local FOX television affiliate and with Harrah’s Casino, among other New Orleans business. “It’s small-market teams. It’s what you have to do to make sure your game is on television,� said Benson LeBlanc, who also said that she believed the San Antonio area would have sold out the game sooner if not for the short time window and some logistical problems during the past week, including the arrival of Hurricane Rita.

Benson LeBlanc was in Austin on Wednesday as part of the team’s efforts to drum up support in San Antonio’s neighbor 75 miles to the north.
She joined Austin mayor Will Wynn in a press conference to announce that the Saints, in conjunction with KB Home, would be donating tickets to city employees, volunteers and evacuees in Austin and San Antonio.
The Saints and KB Home purchased and donated a combined 8,000 tickets.

ETC. … Former Saints quarterback Kliff Kingsbury signed on with the New York Jets as their third quarterback. The Jets plucked Kingsbury from the Denver Broncos’ practice squad.

INJURY REPORT: Eleven players are listed on Wednesday's weekly injury report submitted to the league office, including safety Jay Bellamy who is expected to undergo season-ending surgery next week to repair a torn rotator cuff, accoirding to Coach Jim Haslett.

Besides Bellamy, cornerback Fakhir Brown (knee), guard Jermane Mayberry (shoulder), running back Aaron Stecker (ankle) and wide receiver Joe Horn (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. They are listed as questionable.

Wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim (hamstring), guard Montrae Holland (knee), safety Dwight Smith (toe), defensive end Darren Howard (ankle), cornerback Mike McKenzie (neck) and defensive tackle Bryan Young (foot) also are questionable.

PERSONNEL UPDATE: Haslett said there is a chance cornerback Fred Booker (LSU) could be promoted to the active roster from the practice squad if the team places Bellamy on injured reserve by Sunday.

WORTH REPEATING: "Devery (Henderson) is doing a great job. He has really surprised me the last couple of weeks. He's getting better and better. You can feel it. He's gaining confidence in what he's doing.'' - Haslett on the team's second-round draft pick in 2004 from LSU. Henderson has six catches for 137 yards, including a long of 66 yards against Minnesota.


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