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

Friday, October 21, 2005

Benson set to void Superdome lease; State says Dome usable by Oct. 2006

In an obvious showdown of legal wrangling, the San Antonio Express-News reports today that Saints owner Tom Benson plans to void his team's lease with the Louisiana Superdome in November by calling the facility unusable.

On the other hand, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that state officials claim the Superdome could be open for football by next October, in time for a portion of the NFL's 2006 campaign.

It's a battle of the definition over what constitutes "usable." That's important in context of the governing contract's "force majeure" clause.

In any event, Benson clearly is moving forward with plans to relocate the team to San Antonio. That city's mayor, Phil Hardberger, was quoted in the above Express-News article as saying Thursday, "Tom has made it clear he really doesn't want to enter negotiations until the end of the season."

And what's the key for Benson's move? What is his motivation?

We all already know. The Express-News confirmed it today:
"Benson, sources say, believes he can make more money in San Antonio than in Baton Rouge, where the Saints will play four games this season."