Thirty percent of tickets to Saints-Lions game bought by S.A. businesses; Telling S.A. quote; Express-News: Saints 'happy to be home' in S.A.
The rest of the tickets, 18,000 or so, have been bought by San Antonio area businesses with an interest of making a good impression on NFL officials (and, obviously, Saints owner Tom Benson), according to this article in the San Antonio Express-News.
The article notes that Benson was impressed with San Antonio's business and fan support and that he is "very fond of San Antonio," and also reaffirms that Benson has informed city leaders there that he wants to move the Saints there permanently.
Bottom line - That's 42,000 tickets sold in a 65,000-seat stadium, after what previous articles have indicated were increased marketing, and after some hefty ticket discounts.
In other words, calling tomorrow's game a near sell-out is a misnomer.
It's a game with just over 42,000 tickets sold, and around 18,000 ticket giveaways.
That's nearly one-third of the Alamodome seats just being given away.
But we know how it'll be spun by Tommy Boy and his cohorts...
Heck, it's already been spun by San Antonio mayor Phil Hardburglar, and by San Antonio media, and by the Saints' web site.
Perhaps all of them need an asterick for Christmas.
As for the whole story, here's an outstanding review in today's Times-Picayune by Mike Triplett.
Triplett notes that thousands of seats have been sold at a hefty discount rate for today's game.
He also adds that the Saints' "offices" in San Antonio are an abandoned water works building that has been slated to be bulldozed in 2006 and turned into a parking lot, and if the team somehow does stay there next year, that will be where they are based.
If that happens and the building doesn't work out, at least San Antonio has shown it will allow the Saints to practice on the parking lot.
TELLING S.A. QUOTE
In Triplett's article, here's a quote from Bexar (TX) County judge Nelson Wolff, a San Antonio bigwig and ex-mayor who has been a proponent of the Saints moving there:
"I'm sure they'll have a good crowd (today); a lot of tickets have been given away."Enough said.
EXPRESS-NEWS: SAINTS 'HAPPY TO BE HOME' IN S.A.
Today's San Antonio Express-News does it yet again.
On the main sports page of their website today, the headline glaringly blares, "Saints happy to be home."
For today's game in San Antonio between them and the Detroit Lions.
Aren't they still the "New Orleans" Saints?
The linked story doesn't do much better. The headline there is "Football: Saints return to San Antonio where they are glad to hang their hats."
And the story itself makes the same argument eschewed above: that ticket "sales" there are superior to ticket sales in Louisiana.
It also takes a tongue-in-cheek pot shot at Louisiana, saying about today's game: "For now, the players are just happy to be back playing in front of what is expected to be a friendly packed house."
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