WWL-TV: Three criteria required to keep Saints; Benson slammed by La. House rep, proposed state bill
(1) The city’s ability to recover more quickly than expected;
(2) A commitment from the state to continue paying the team inducements, if not increase them; and/or
(3) A commitment from the NFL owners to supplement the team’s losses.
WWL-TV also reports that while the Saints will play some games in Louisiana in 2006, the team has indicated it doesn't want to play any more games at LSU because it loses approximately $1 million for each game at Tiger Stadium.
The story also quotes the source to say that the Saints will lose 'between $20 and $40 million this season and next.'
None of the news today (see earlier post from this morning below) is particularly promising for the prospects of keeping the Saints in New Orleans.
As indicated in the previous post, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and perhaps some league owners will make a trip to New Orleans in about three weeks to gauge the progress of recovery efforts there.
It appears that will help set the stage for the first requirement listed above. As I had noted, it's not likely that a tremendous amount of progress from the league's perspective has been made in the three months or so since Katrina made landfall.
The second requirement is a long-shot, especially any increases in state inducements, due to the devastation heaped upon Louisiana by both Katrina and Rita.
And as for the third requirement...While the NFL may offset some of the Saints' losses for a short period of time, any extended supplement is unlikely.
If today's news is true, it's not good at all for Saints fans in Louisiana.
BENSON SLAMMED BY LA. HOUSE REP, PROPOSED STATE BILL
Another interesting tidbit to come across the wires today was concerning a bill proposed in the Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that the bill, proposed by state rep Juan LaFonta, would provide a tax incentive to any corporation borrowing money to purchase an NFL franchise for Louisiana, but specified that Tom Benson and members of his family would not be allowed to get the tax break.
In other words, it's an incentive for someone to buy the Saints and keep them in Louisiana.
If that wasn't enough of a slap in Benson's face, another state rep, Taylor Townsend, is quoted in the article as saying, "I think everyone in this room could care less about Tom Benson. It's hard for us to hide our contempt for Tom Benson."
I guess Tommy Boy's p.r. makeover wasn't quick enough.
And, by the way, the bill was deferred without a vote.
Got a comment? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.