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Postby Calyxes » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:57 am

I know this last thing NO fans need to be thinking about with all that they have going on. I am wondering what will happen with the saints though. If I remember right there had been talks of them leaving NO. Now that this city has to be rebuilt and it's economy is going to be real slow for the next couple of years, will the Saints be able to afford to stay? Or do they have no choice but to stay now? I would say that they do not have a choice but to stay and I hope they decide to do that.
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Postby Voltaire » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:54 am

You're talkijng long term future, who knows about that right now. I think there's a good chance they've played thier last game in NO. I don';t see them playing this year and I think the economy there is too fragile to support them, it could barely do so under the best of circumstances.

As far as short term it looks like they're going to San Antonio following their preseason game in California but anything after that is really all speculation. There are many many scenarios being bounced around. This link is what I dug up...


Homeless Saints could face vagabond season wire reports

NEW ORLEANS ( Aug. 31, 2005) -- There is only one certainty about the New Orleans Saints' future: They will live and work out of the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio for a while.

Beyond that, question marks abound. It's highly unlikely they'll be able to hold their home opener Sept. 18 at the Superdome -- and they may not be able to play there at all this season after the stadium was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

So that first game against the New York Giants could be at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Or at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. Or even at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.

And all of those sites could host other home games for the Saints, who escaped the hurricane by flying with their families last weekend to San Jose, Calif. New Orleans plays at Oakland on Sept. 1 in its final preseason game.

While the Saints and NFL officials have been discussing a variety of alternatives, they haven't talked yet with many of the people at the proposed sites.

"We can say is LSU an option, yeah, but is it an option with them?" Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said by phone from San Jose. "That's the next hurdle. We haven't crossed that hurdle yet."

Only one hurdle has been crossed.

Following the Raiders game, the Saints will go to San Antonio, where they will stay at the same hotel they stayed at last season when Hurricane Ivan chased them out of New Orleans in the second week of the regular season.

The Saints will also use the same practice facilities at Trinity University, so they will have, as Bensel put it, "a certain comfort level with where we are."

That would seem to make the Alamodome, which holds 65,000 for football, a logical alternative, although it's about 550 miles from New Orleans, farther than the NFL would like.

But at this point, no one really knows the options.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and league officials have discussed the situation over the past few days. Location hasn't been the most important topic.

"We've been talking about how we as a league can assist with relief efforts," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "Not only for Saints players and officials and their families, but also for a lot of other players in the league who live or have families in the region."

The Saints aren't the only ones in sports affected by the damage done to the 65,000-seat Superdome.

Bowl Championship Series spokesman Bob Burda said Sugar Bowl officials hope to meet within the next few weeks to talk about what to do with the game scheduled for Jan. 2 in the Superdome.

"It's just too early on their end to even speculate," said Burda, adding that bowl officials had been in contact with BCS coordinator Kevin Weiberg.

It's unlikely officials would want to let the Sugar Bowl leave Louisiana, even for just a year. Independence Stadium, home of the Independence Bowl, in Shreveport has been renovated in recent years and holds about 53,000. Tiger Stadium could also be a plausible option, with a capacity of almost 92,000.

None of the options for the Saints seem ideal, including the unlikely scenario of playing their entire schedule on the road.

Switching their home opener to the Meadowlands is a problem because the Giants share their stadium with the New York Jets, who are scheduled to play Miami at home that day.

There has been talk of using Reliant Stadium in Houston, but the Texans are home Sept. 18 to Pittsburgh.

Those hurdles could be overcome by playing games on Saturday or Monday, but it hardly seems like a palatable option to either the team or the league.

The last time a game shifted locations on short notice was on Oct. 27, 2003, when the Chargers and Miami Dolphins met at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., after wildfires in southern California prevented the game from being played in San Diego. That was a regularly scheduled Monday night contest and no admission was charged -- 73,000 people attended, far more than usually attend Arizona Cardinals games at the same venue. And just a year ago, the Dolphins moved their season opener vs. Tennessee from Sunday, Sept. 12 to Saturday, Sept. 11 due to Hurricane Ivan.

But this is likely to be more than a one-shot deal and few of the alternatives seem particularly enticing.

Both the league and the Saints would like to stay as close to home as possible, although other stadiums are showing interest in having them.

Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando, Fla., proposed that the Saints try the little-used Citrus Bowl. There was no indication that the Saints were even familiar with that offer.

Even before the hurricane, the team has been negotiating with the state of Louisiana for a new stadium to replace the Superdome. Owner Tom Benson has suggested that without one, he might sell the franchise, leading to speculation that the Saints might be the team that fills the hole in Los Angeles left vacant when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders went back to Oakland after the 1994 season.

Yes, the Los Angeles Coliseum is among the sites suggested as a possibility for this season.

But all of that is speculation.

"We just don't know yet," Bensel said. "We really don't."

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Postby Homeless » Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:10 am

I for one hope they go back there, though i dont think it will be anytime soon. :,-(
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Postby M_Zimm_ffc » Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:30 pm

I like the Saints in NO, and really wish they'd stay there for a while longer; but at this point I'm not expecting it to happen. The city had trouble supporting them when people had money and the economy was good. Now the city's population will drastically decrease, and those who do go back are going to have a lot more stuff they have to spend money on than football tickets. Not to mention the fact that unless the owner does it, I don't know that the city is going to want to spend the money to fix the football stadium when the entire city is destroyed. I don't think it will be that high of a priority for the mayor.

But I don't know, that's just my two cents. But I could easily see them ending up in LA.
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