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

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Why wouldn't the Saints move to L.A.?

(I got a great question from a reader today, and the answer was long enough to post. Below is the question and my answer.)

Question: I can't see the Saints returning to New Orleans - so why wouldn't the league put them in L.A.?

Answer: Why wouldn't they? I honestly cannot think of any reason why they wouldn't at this point. Not one.

Tragic as it is, New Orleans is no longer an option. That leaves just two places - San Antonio and Los Angeles. Without getting lengthy, here's four reasons off the top of my head:
1. We know the NFL has taken great strides toward getting that desired franchise in L.A. It has not done so in San Antonio.
2. An NFL franchise move from New Orleans to San Antonio would not create nearly the wealth (in terms of gains in media market) across the board for the league and its owners than would a move to L.A.
3. The Alamodome is not a short-term (2-3 years) solution for the NFL like the Coliseum is.
4. With the above three in mind, NFL owners will not approve a move to San Antonio over L.A.

The NFL will have a team in L.A. within the next three years. It has dedicated far too much work and lip service to stray from that stated path.

Given that, if the league doesn't move the Saints there, it will take another team from another city to fill the L.A. void. That would create bad blood with that city's fans. In an effort to not sound too harsh, New Orleans' fan base has been drastically diminished (and don't forget the meager season ticket sales for this season in the 30,000 range), and the team is off many people's maps in terms of reconstruction of the city. Couple that with the fact that New Orleans no longer can physically maintain a franchise, and the only alternative is to move the team. No other franchise has such problems.

Thus, the league would be "doing what it must" in moving the Saints to L.A., which helps it stay on top of the normally-difficult PR battle in terms of relocation.

(As an aside, that's why I think Tom Benson came out today and announced he wants to play all home games at LSU's Tiger Stadium if possible. They don't want to tear the Saints away from New Orleanians in the midst of Katrina. It allows Benson and the league to say, hey, we did the best we could. Next season, because it's a business, we have to move on. And, for the record, I don't buy Benson's Red Stick Sentiment for a second. A high-ranking team official told local media that Benson was refusing season ticket holder refunds for the 2005 season, likely in an effort to burn the bridges and move the team to San Antonio permanently. PR savvy, Benson ain't. Of course, that all has changed with the undercurrent of anger.)

Besides, who else is there? I just don't see the Vikings leaving Minneapolis, the Colts leaving Indy, the Bills leaving Buffalo or the Chiefs leaving KC. I think the Chargers also are safe given New Orleans' situation. The NFL's top Super Bowl sites historically have been New Orleans, Miami, and San Diego. I can't see the league eliminating two of those three within the next three years. There has been some rumbling that Jacksonville's Jaguars are in trouble, but I can't see them moving in the near future either. They just hosted a Super Bowl last February, and if the NFL was to voluntarily cut and run from Jacksonville so shortly after the big game was there, that would diminish the Super Bowl as a selling point to other cities that might be in a position to consider future NFL teams.

Expansion in the NFL at this point is not a likely option, since that would result in 33 teams - not a good scheduling strategy in a league with eight four-team divisions.

And, one final thought - The NFL's last expansion team was in Houston. Why move another franchise three hours away?

So the only choice, and the best fit, is the Saints and the City of Angels.

And it's only fitting. Think about it. In the very first Saints game, New Orleans lost to Los Angeles.

That's how the franchise started, and the way things look now, that's how the franchise will close its run in New Orleans.


Here's another Q&A from the Washington Times, this one between WDSU reporter Fletcher Mackel and Saints running back Deuce McAllister:

Q (Mackel): Have the Saints played their last game in New Orleans?
A (McAllister): I don't know. Nothing would surprise me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entire blog is disgusting. I don't see how you can talk out of both sides of your mouth. One side offers condolences to those who have lost, whereas the other side writes off any chance of those people keeping an integral part of their community.

The point that New Orleans can no longer support an NFL is typical of a city-centrist view of someone from a place like L.A. The Saints don't belong to New Orleans alone, they belong to the STATE as a whole! People from Plaquemines to Lake Charles are avid Saints fans and have been since the team's inception.


If the Saints are ripped from Louisiana, it's just more proof of a) how shameful an industry the NFL is, and b) how utterly repugant the "have-nots" are and the sickening lengths they'll go to to become a "have". (for the THIRD TIME)

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a good blog, the saints were talking about moving to la or mississipi way before the hurricane came, i hate people feelin sorry for new orleans. n.o. is a crappy city and in 20 years its gonna be in the gulf of mexico.I dont know how people say that a football team could make a community survive, i bet u that only 20% of people in n.o. even like football, thats like 40,000 people. Before the hurricane, nobody said" oh lets go to new orleans". Las Vegas is a better city for football then n.o. The city should worry about spending money on getting people back home and rebuilding instead of worrying about a football team. Besides u have the hornets. LOS ANGELES DESERVES A NFL TEAM

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope the saints do move to la fuck n.o and what they went through hurricane my ass they knew it was coming get your nigger asses out of there thats there fault!!!!! la welcomes the saints besides you people always try to be like us in LA mann fuck all you new orleans katrina victims saints are coming to la if you dont like it suck a niggers horse dick and the when your done sit on that niggers dick!!

6:38 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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