saints (n.) - NFL franchise presently based in New Orleans; boondoggle (n.) - an unnecessary or wasteful project or activity; saintsdoggle (n.) - the Saints' potential relocation situation in New Orleans, and the resulting boondoggle by Louisiana to keep the team from leaving

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Saints books to open? (and other Saints ramblings)

In some very interesting news that I just came across, a lawsuit filed by Hamilton County, Ohio against the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL may force Tom Benson and the New Orleans Saints (along with the rest of the league's teams) to open their books for honest scrutiny.

Hamilton County is suing the Bengals and the NFL in an antitrust action, claiming that the Bengals and the NFL intentionally and repeatedly mislead area taxpayers about claims of the team needing a new stadium to be profitable and remain in Cincinnati. The federal magistrate ordered the NFL to provide financial information for the league and its teams (including the Saints) dating back to 1990. A motion to stay the release of documents was filed by the NFL, preventing this information from being submitted to date, but if the motion is denied, Tommy Boy better get ready to get his books open. A hearing on the motion will occur July 20.

According to the Cincinnati Post, Hamilton County attorneys are arguing that "the team emphasized its low revenues and struggle in a small market during negotiations, but in reality was reaping large profits."

Sound familiar? Anybody got a similar idea for a suit here in Louisiana?

Just FYI, this suit is over a one-half cent surtax to finance a new $450 million stadium in Cincinnati. At least the state of Ohio wasn't lured into giving the Bengals $15-22 million annually to "remain profitable" as well.

Also, in other news that has come since Saints Dependence Day has passed:

- Louisiana has agreed to furnish the Saints with tax money generated from slot machines at the New Orleans Fair Grounds horse racing track. The tax revenues from the slots won't nearly be enough to cover the annual Saints Dependence Day payments from Louisiana to Tom Benson and the Saints. And, even though they are estimated to range "from $6 million to $12 million," we in Louisiana have seen similar estimates fall far short of the actual numbers. (See: hotel revenues that were supposed to pay for the Saints Dependence Day payments.) Also, the slot machines won't be in operation until 2007. Whether the Saints will be in operation in New Orleans remains to be seen.

- Tom Benson still is planning on handing the duties of running his football team to his granddaughter. But it's not the Saints - according to, it's the New Orleans Voodoo of the Arena Football League. The fact that this is something that Bud Adams has done, and that Benson's plan for this is mentioned in a story about Bud Adams, has to make you wonder...what else will Bud and Tommy Boy have in common? Hmmmmmm.....I still think they'll both end up in a weekly golf foursome together, along with Robert Irsay and Art Modell.