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Old 10-19-2005   #1
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Default N.O. Mayer blasts the Saints

I would think the mayor would have more to worry about right now.. Like get his people to come back.. Besides didn't the Saints try to get a new stadium and it was shot down?
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NEW ORLEANS -- Mayor Ray Nagin disparaged Saints owner Tom Benson on Wednesday for working with San Antonio officials to permanently keep the NFL team in Texas.

The mayor's comments came after the departures of two top Saints executives who were supportive of keeping the Saints in Louisiana. Nagin is concerned that San Antonio officials said publicly that Benson is working with them to relocate the franchise to Texas.


"We want our Saints, we may not want the owner back," Nagin said while attending the reopening of Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter.

"I'm ready to go to the NFL and to [commissioner Paul] Tagliabue and say, 'Give us the Cleveland plan,'" Nagin added, referring to the league awarding Cleveland an expansion team almost immediately after the Browns moved to Baltimore after the 1995 season. "Whatever the Saints want to do, you let them leave, but they can't take our logo, they can't take our name, and you give us a promise to give us a franchise when this city's back."

A Saints spokesman did not return a telephone call and e-mail seeking a response to Nagin's comments.

"For them to be openly talking to other cities about moving is disrespectful to the citizens of New Orleans, disrespectful to the Saints fans who have hung in with this franchise through 30-something years under very trying times," Nagin said.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2197636
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Old 10-19-2005   #2
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good to hear he has his priorities straight.
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Old 10-20-2005   #3
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I still believe that if the Saints move the NFL will somehow get them into L.A. ..But if the Saints move to San Antonio.. I hope they change the uniforms and name..
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Old 10-20-2005   #4
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This guy is starting to irk me. Does he think the few people in NO right now are really worried about football? He says he wants the Saint's back, but maybe not the owner, well without the owner there ain't no Saints. Why not move them? It's going to take forever to repair the stadium anyway. Why is he so worried about football anyway? Shoudln't he be a little more worried about rebuilding his city?
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Old 10-20-2005   #5
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Yeah right, go to the Tagliabue and demand a new team....see how far that conversation goes.

I can see the Saints staying in San Antonio...and I'm rooting for it. I would love that.

And think the San Antonio Saints rolls off the tongue really nice.
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Old 10-20-2005   #6
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Come on, the guy can make one statement about the football team and still care about hurricane relief.

The saints are a massive revenue intake for the city, and it's in his interests to protect that. That city needs that team to help the rebuilding, and Texas has no need for ANOTHER football team.
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Old 10-20-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngstown Colt
Come on, the guy can make one statement about the football team and still care about hurricane relief.

The saints are a massive revenue intake for the city, and it's in his interests to protect that. That city needs that team to help the rebuilding, and Texas has no need for ANOTHER football team.
So they should rebuild the stadium before rebuilding the city? The city is not even liveable in parts now and Nagin is worried about the Saints.
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Old 10-20-2005   #8
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Mayor Nagin seems completely ignorant of the way the NFL functions. He's just going to walk in there and tell them that New Orleans is "ready for the Cleveland plan"?

How does someone that foolish get elected to be mayor of a major city? Demanding the Cleveland plan worked real well for Baltimore all those years between the Colts leaving and the Ravens taking the field. Houston had no trouble at all getting another franchise ordered up. It was like getting fries and a limeade at Sonic. Just push the button and Tags takes your order.

The Saints making plans to leave (if that is the case) right now is very low. I'm rather disgusted to hear that this is happening. Kick those folks when they're down why don't you Mr Benson? Still, mayor Nagin is living in a fantasy world if he thinks the city will see another team there again once the Saints are out the door. His focus needs to be on finding a way to keep them there, not demanding the league replace them if they leave. That's a losing proposition for New Orleans.
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Old 10-20-2005   #9
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The guy's taking up a good bit of my oxygen and it's starting to wear on me.
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Old 10-20-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngstown Colt
The saints are a massive revenue intake for the city, and it's in his interests to protect that. That city needs that team to help the rebuilding, and Texas has no need for ANOTHER football team.
This is questionable. The state is paying the team to stay.

"on Sept. 25, 2001, Foster and Benson agreed to a 10-year, $187.2 million deal to keep the Saints in New Orleans. Under the deal, the state started paying the Saints escalating annual subsidies, starting with $12.5 million in 2002 and growing to $23.5 million in 2008."

Source

Folks, like it or not, professional sports is big business. Put your emotional attachments aside for a second, and realize that they are in business to make money.

NOLA simply lacks the economic support to keep a professional football team. This drama did not start with Hurricane Katrina, as the situation goes back many, many years. Katrina is just the latest chapter.

I'm not a big fan of Benson or anything (especially if he's being compared to Bottom-Line Bud!), but we've got to be real. His timing is really poor, but his point should be well understood. It's business 101.
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Old 10-21-2005   #11
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Cold Pizza was just talking about the Superdome and said the Saint's owner may void the contract claiming the Superdome is "unusable". They also said the Saints MIGHT be able to play some of their home games in 2006 and the owner might make a permanent move to San Antonio.
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Old 10-21-2005   #12
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Actually the people in New Orleans are outraged about Benson trying to move the Saints. They view him trying to pull the team out of the city as taking the last thing that they have to root for. The Saints are one of the few things they care about now. Wouldn't you be mad if McNair tried to move the Texans because Rita damaged Reliant? The Saints bring tons of money in for the state and the city every year and building revenue is a major part of rebuilding a city. Everyone hates Benson in Louisiana because he has been trying to move the team for a long time eventhough they consistently have attendance and they are the pride of the state. Now he is firing everyone in the organization who have been lobbying to rebuild New Orleans and keep the team in the city. He is a bad guy who has no morals.

What Benson and the SA mayor are doing is in very bad taste and extremely disrespectful to the victims of the hurricane. Apparently the NFL agrees because they have been distancing themselves from what the SA mayor said and have said that the SA mayor has no control over the future of the Saints. Moving the Saints would be a PR nightmare for the league.
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Old 10-21-2005   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tulexan
Actually the people in New Orleans are outraged about Benson trying to move the Saints. They view him trying to pull the team out of the city as taking the last thing that they have to root for. The Saints are one of the few things they care about now. Wouldn't you be mad if McNair tried to move the Texans because Rita damaged Reliant? The Saints bring tons of money in for the state and the city every year and building revenue is a major part of rebuilding a city. Everyone hates Benson in Louisiana because he has been trying to move the team for a long time eventhough they consistently have attendance and they are the pride of the state. Now he is firing everyone in the organization who have been lobbying to rebuild New Orleans and keep the team in the city. He is a bad guy who has no morals.

What Benson and the SA mayor are doing is in very bad taste and extremely disrespectful to the victims of the hurricane. Apparently the NFL agrees because they have been distancing themselves from what the SA mayor said and have said that the SA mayor has no control over the future of the Saints. Moving the Saints would be a PR nightmare for the league.
I totally agree with the above analysis. NewO NEEDS to repair the Superdome and keep the Saints where they belong, in NO! I have read NUMEROUS posts on this very MB about how fans refused to watch football at all after the Oilers left Houston. Remember that empty gut feeling when Sept rolled around and there was NO FOOTBALL in HOUSTON??! My heart goes out to the people of NO and their long road to recovery. They need something to look forward too, something that has been consistant, something that brings them a little excitement and joy. We all know by now that the worst thing that happened to NO was their Mayor, followed by an equally inapt Governor! The people should not be punished by taking their football team away simply because NO is going through a bad time. That is a city full of culture and history. They will rebuild.

Anyone know how long the Sugar Bowl has been played in NO??
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Old 10-21-2005   #14
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I think this is totally classless on behalf of the city of SA and the owner. Taking advantage of this disaster to get an nfl team is pathetic. Tom Benson should be the good citizen and keep the saints in NO. I for one will never spend a dime in SA if this move takes place.
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Old 10-21-2005   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profan
I think this is totally classless on behalf of the city of SA and the owner. Taking advantage of this disaster to get an nfl team is pathetic. Tom Benson should be the good citizen and keep the saints in NO. I for one will never spend a dime in SA if this move takes place.
The fans in New Orleans want to keep their team so darn badly. I really feel for them. They are trying hard to get help and attention, making flyers, getting TV coverage, etc., but I don't think that power and money are listening at all. Owners aren't sentimental fools by any stretch, so you can't play on their conscience and expect good things to happen.
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Old 10-21-2005   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profan
I think this is totally classless on behalf of the city of SA and the owner. Taking advantage of this disaster to get an nfl team is pathetic. Tom Benson should be the good citizen and keep the saints in NO. I for one will never spend a dime in SA if this move takes place.
As a resident of SA, I would love to have an NFL team in this city. But I agree with most that the way the Mayor of SA (not the city of SA) and Benson are doing it is wrong. San Antonio just needs to step up and show the NFL that they can support a NFL team by selling out the Saints games this year and really support the Saints while they are here. And be ready for team is ready to move because a city doesn't support them or provide a discent facility, not when a natural disaster forces them out temporarily. So please don't lump the whole city of SA, with the Mayor and Benson.
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Old 10-21-2005   #17
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One thing you said tulexan really jumped off the screen when I read it. You said that Tom Benson has been trying to move the team for a long time and if that's the case then I think it's probably inevitable that he will find a way to move it. NFL owners don't get stuck playing where they don't want to. Their fellow owners will say all the right things and sound sympathetic as they approve the move and stick it to the fans of whatever unfortunate city we're discussing. It's like dealing with the Mafia.

New Orleans was a little under 500,000 people before the hurricane right? Since it's unclear how many people they're going to lose once this is all said and done I'm wondering if the city will continue to be big enough to support an NFL team anymore. They were on the low end to begin with really. If it wasn't for Green Bay wouldn't NOLA be the smallest NFL city? We talk about Jacksonville being too small to support their team at times and they've got 777,000 people. San Antonio is sporting 1.2 million.

I think that maybe the only thing that New Orleans might have going for it in this situation is miserable PR the league would get for allowing this to happen. They usually aren't shy about appearing to be evil though when there's money to be made.

I'm pulling for you guys but at the same time I have to say I do not want to see the NFL add another franchise. 32 teams IMO borders on too many as it is. On the other hand NOLA could maybe get a Cleveland like deal if the owners could be shown that adding that Los Angelas team they keep dreaming of will make the league schedules screwy again (33 teams) and mess up their realignment. They could add LA and restore NOLA at the same time and then minimize the damage. Just appeal to their greed and get them thinking about getting two expansion fees in one year. That might do the trick.
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Old 10-21-2005   #18
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Nagin has to be the second worst Mayor in history. The first being Lee Brown. With that guy running the city, it will practically ensure the Saints leave and the NFL never returns. Vinny said it - the people get what the deserve every time. Anyone notice how much better the city is run since Lee Brown was term limited and we have a decent Mayor. Thank goodness for term limits, because if not for that, Brown would still be Mayor.

As to the NFL moving to SA, some people have short memories. Was their bad PR when the Colts left Baltimore, when the Rams moved to St. Louis, when the Brown moved to Baltimore, or when the Oilers took off for Possum Holler? Of course. Did it matter? No! The NFL and it's owners have on green colored glasses, and will go where the dollars are. I don't care if it's because of natuaral disaster. They will make a great case (which actually is probably correct) that between the stadium issues, the lack of citizens, the damage to the city and it's infrastructure, the lack of corp sponsers, and a reduces portion of the population being in a higher income bracket, that they simply cannot support an NFL team. Bad PR my ****. It's all about the jack.
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Old 10-21-2005   #19
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You'll note Porky that I stated that I did not think that the bad PR would win out this time either. It will be greater than ever before because none of those moves (all despicable acts in my opinion) happened in conjunction with a national disaster.

In the end it won't matter. They'll move anyway.
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Old 10-21-2005   #20
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Hey, fellow Houstonians and Texan fans. I'm a native New Orleanian and huge Saints fan (but Texans are my other team, of course!) who moved to Houston a year ago (non-Katrina related, of course), and I'm lovin' it here. We moved after 14 years near NYC, and I even dumped my Yankees for the Astros last year....not a bad move, I must say!! Anyway, I'm here with a request.

San Antonio, led by its mayor, is trying to keep the Saints permanently.
http://www.nola.com/sports/t-p/inde...15434205800.xml

Last Monday, owner Tom Benson fired Arnold Fielkow, reportedly for releasing a report that ticket sales had spiked for the Saints first home game in Baton Rouge. http://www.wwltv.com/sports/saints/....105048a2c.html

Many of us believe that Benson wanted to depress ticket sales in Baton Rouge so he could argue to the league that he can't make money in Louisiana and then he could move the team to San Antonio.

Our Saints board has jumped all over this. www.saintsreport.com We are doing everything we can to promote ticket sales in Baton Rouge, including collecting money and paying for radio spots in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, asking people to support the games in Baton Rouge.

I'm not here to ask for money, though. What we're doing is asking other teams to make a sign for us at their games. Philly, Atlanta, and the Raiders are helping already, and I thought I'd come ask my fellow Houston fans for two reasons: first is, well to be honest, I like you because you were nice the people from New Orleans (my parents always hated Texas, but they LOVE Houston now due to the extreme hospitality shown to them -- way to go!); but I also thought that you know what it's like to lose your team to another city. We're making signs at our game in Baton Rouge on October 30 against the Phins. Tag will be at that game. We even have plans for a sign behind a plane to fly over Tiger Stadium -- paid for by hundreds of loyal fans all over the region. We're asking other fans at other games to make signs this weekend and next supporting the Saints staying in New Orleans. Something positive and to the point like "The Saints Belong in New Orleans."

Guys and gals, I personally think that this is a lot to ask. My own belief is that signs at games should support your team, and any air time given to a Saints sign is air time taken from one supporting the Texans. I wouldn't normally ask, but it's so important to us. You know what it's like to lose your team, and we're faced with losing our team while the city is clawing its way back from the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. Taking our team under these circumstances would be--well, one reporter said it would make Art Modell look honorable.

And I also think it is grossly unfair for mayor Hardberger to refuse to use city funds and instead expect the state to pay for the Saints when there are already two NFL teams in Texas. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Reliant was paid for by Harris Co. taxes (hotels, etc.) and by McNair -- not state funds. Why should it be different for San Antonio?? The Saints have already disrupted the TV coverage -- my husband's family in SA is ticked because they don't get to see the Cowboys anymore (yet the Saints will NOT be on in SA this weekend -- Cowboys are -- gee, that support in SA for the Saints lasted a long time!!). The Texans are so new; another new team would only thin an already saturated market in Texas. And SA's record of supporting pro football teams (USFL, for example) is less than stellar: 1) 1984 New Orleans Breakers (USFL) averaged 30,000 while in 1985 San Antonio Gunslingers (also USFL) averaged 12,000.
2) Every pro football team in San Antonio struggled and/or folded -- San Antonio Texans, a CFL expansion franchise; they played only 1 season (1995), being forced to fold because their owner ran out of money. The Texans only averaged 15,855 with the highest being a crowd of 22, 043. Granted it was the CFL, but these numbers are quite interesting.

Since other fans around the NFL are helping, I wanted to let y'all know what we're up to. Please help us send a message to the league that there is widespread support for the Saints staying in New Orleans. Another team in Texas would only hurt the Texans. Our best weapon is public opinion.

Thanks Texans. Sure hope Dom and the crew can turn it around soon!

Kellye
Houston

P.S. Quick note re: "why should the Superdome be such a priority" -- with or without the Saints, that building is a vital part of the N.O. economy. Conventions, sporting events, etc. that are held there all add to the local tourism and convention income for the city. Even without the Saints, fixing the Superdome ASAP is vital to the regrowth of New Orleans. So it isn't a "bad priority".

Last edited by primadox; 10-21-2005 at 09:30 PM.
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