Louisiana formally asks Saints to return to N.O.
The state also enclosed copies of letters from FEMA and the National Guard, stating that neither have any use for the facility.
According to this link from WWL-TV, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw also received copies of the letter.
Note that attorney Phil Wittman, who represents the Saints, confirmed that Tom Benson had received the notice in a letter from Louisiana officials, but that he wouldn't be making his mind up until after the season.
Of course, we all know that Benson has made his mind up, and that as things stand now, he and the NFL will be in court over it.
Full text of the letter:
The State of Louisiana (State), acting through the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District (LSED), has secured written confirmation from the military and from FEMA that there is no current or future need for or intention of the authorities to use the Training Facility for any purpose.
Further, the State and the LSED are taking all necessary steps to repair the minor storm-related damage, which repair can be accomplished concurrent with the use of the Training Facility by the team.
As you know, the NFL representatives (including Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Players’ Association leader, Gene Upshaw) toured the facility on December 5th. Both gentlemen deemed the facility to be in “excellent condition” and publicly confirmed its “readiness” for the team to return in early 2006.
Accordingly, the State and LSED respectfully request that the team return to the Training Facility in January 2006, and conduct its operations (including preparation for the 2006 season, the 2006 draft and training camps) in Louisiana, consistent with the Amended and Restated New Orleans Saints Professional Training Facility Lease (the “Training Facility Lease”). The State and the LSED consider the Training Facility Lease to be valid and in effect.
If you have any questions, please call. We are available for a conference call among all interested persons and entities at any time.
Larry Roedel, Counsel
For the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District
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