Potential Saints relocation called 'horribly cruel'; NFL leaving Saints support to New Orleans; New stadium labeled 'fairy tale'
POTENTIAL SAINTS RELOCATION CALLED 'HORRIBLY CRUEL'
Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley has penned a piece, "Moving the Saints wouldn't be a surprise," that notes that moving the Saints would be "horribly cruel."
While it offers little new news, the column astutely points out that eight of the current 32 franchises have relocated from their host cities since 1982 - that's 25 percent of all franchises.
The obvious implication is that the image-conscious NFL has little conscience when it comes to fans in a city that, by league standards, is determined to be subpar.
On the Saints, Bickley writes, "Their owner, Tom Benson, has many ties and many car dealerships in San Antonio. The NFL has a gaping hole in Los Angeles. The ceiling of corporate dollars is too low in New Orleans, and the lure of new money may be too much to resist."
But, Bickley counters to state that of all previous NFL relocations, the Saints leaving New Orleans would be the worst.
NFL LEAVING SAINTS SUPPORT TO NEW ORLEANS
A column by Vito Stellino of jacksonville.com, entitled "Saints success masks big issue", notes a couple of troubling issues for Saints fans.
First, the article quotes NFL executive VP Joe Browne to state, "We want the Saints to succeed in New Orleans, but the business community, especially, has to step up and continue to support them. We already have the best revenue-sharing plans in sports, and that helps teams like New Orleans in a small market."
In other words, the league is done with ponying up any more dough to keep the Saints in New Orleans.
This, after the push to establish a team in Los Angeles meant (and may still mean) the league footing a bill upwards of $1 billion to construct a new stadium there.
And, Stellino points out that "money in pro football comes from luxury boxes, stadium naming rights and sponsorships," meaning Buffalo's ability to hold onto the Bills is in trouble, and the same goes for New Orleans and the Saints:
"That's also why the Saints are in trouble. They sold out their tickets this season, which would have made them viable 20 years ago. Not now. New Orleans doesn't have enough remaining corporate presence that will buy luxury boxes and sponsorships."Stellino's likely relocation spots for the Saints include Los Angeles and (gag) San Antonio after the team's Superdome lease expires in 2010.
NEW STADIUM LABELED 'FAIRY TALE'
Finally, Jim Mashek of the Sun Herald (MS), in his column entitled, "Saints have these questions to ponder for next year", touches briefly on possible relocation and writes the following:
"The Saints won't have any trouble selling season tickets for next year, but we'd like to see club owner Tom Benson make some real progress on the front of making the Louisiana Superdome the team's permanent home. Benson needs to forget about the fairy tale of a new stadium any time soon. New Orleans has a city to rebuild."Here's to guessing that the "facility problem" cited by Saints chief financial officer Dennis Lauscha here means the real fairy tale is believing the Saints won't ask for a new stadium in upcoming negotiations with the state.
Should be an interesting offseason...
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