UPDATE: Bradshaw transcript from On The Record
Greta: Terry, let’s talk football for a second. Any chance the New Orleans Saints will ever leave this city?
TB: Um, unfortunately, there is. The NFL, as you know Greta, has poured about $40 million into the Saints and rebuilding the Dome to get the Saints back into that Dome this year. Had they not done that, it would not, probably would not have been ready for this season. So there’s a chance. The problem, obviously, is this: we lost so many businesses in the state, primarily in New Orleans, who have moved out and not totally moved back in, and so therefore…We’ve lost several thousands of, at one point, over 200,000 residents had left that city, so there was, really were not enough people or enough businesses really to support an NFL franchise, and that’s one of the reasons they moved, as you know, over to San Antonio where owner Tom Benson lives, and where they had played, and then they went to Baton Rouge, and then eventually now this year, they’re going to come back to New Orleans, but there’s probably, Greta, about a two-year window where that franchise will be evaluated and, once again, by the NFL, and to be honest with you, there is a possibility that the Saints will be, uh, will leave. I’m not saying “will be leaving”, but will or could leave the city of New Orleans.
Greta: Terry, I know how much the Steelers are important to Pittsburgh, my beloved Packers to Green Bay. If the Saints left the city of New Orleans, what would it mean to these people?
TB: Well, it would be a devastating loss. It’s not that big a city, but it’s a very famous city, as you well know. For a city like New Orleans to be able to have a professional franchise – as we know, it’s a billion dollar industry to any metropolitan area, to a state, to a city, the money that is brought in just by having an NFL franchise, not to mention the fact that when you have an NFL franchise, Greta, all of a sudden you are one of the elite cities in America. Even without the Saints, of course, New Orleans would’ve been that, as we well know. But that city, with the Saints, makes them awfully awfully beautiful. Don’t forget, too, we have the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans in the Dome, we have the Saints in the Dome, and if you take away the Saints and move them out, all of a sudden, you’re looking at a big facility that a lot of money has been put into that would not be generating capital for the city of New Orleans.
Greta: How’s Reggie Bush going to do for the Saints?
TB: Reggie Bush is going to be great. As a matter of fact, that’s a great – Reggie Bush is perfect for the Saints. He’s a great kid, an extremely talented kid, explosive, exciting. The fans are there. You know they’ve sold, they’ve sold that thing out. The problem you’re having now, Greta, even with Reggie Bush coming to town, as you know, is big business pouring the money into the luxury boxes, and that’s where these owners make their money and are able to put out all these big bonuses. Reggie Bush has helped fill that stadium up. It has not yet filled up all of the luxury boxes, but I think this year if they’re exciting enough and the city keeps coming back, and we don’t have any more hurricanes, and we get our levees up, and we get our pumps going, and get that city secure, where we can instill some confidence into the business community, so that these folks will come back in there, I think the Saints will show to everyone, in that city especially, that they can pick up where they left off, and Reggie Bush will be a key part of that.
Greta: All right, Terry, and I hope people are listening to you, because I’d like to see the Saints stay; I’d hate to see New Orleans lose the Saints.
TB: I don’t want them to leave.
Greta: I don’t either. I hated when the Colts left Baltimore too. Alright, Terry, thanks.
Good job, Terry. Keep fighting the good fight to keep the Saints home in New Orleans.
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