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  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    Saints' path out of Big Easy gets easier.

    POSTED 12:57 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2006

    SAINTS' PATH OUT OF BIG EASY GETS EASIER
    Mike Florio

    Lost in an AP report regarding the $15 million that the State of Louisiana will save by cutting subsidy payments to the NFL's New Orleans Saints and the NBA's New Orleans Hornets is that the reduction of the Saints' annual chunk of charity change from $15 million to $2.5 million constitutes a potential breach of the ten-year agreement signed in 2001 to keep owner Tom Benson from moving his football team.

    The real story here is that, once the State of Louisiana puts the Saints officially on notice of the $12.5 million haircut, all hell could break loose.

    But there's no mention of that possibility in the AP account, which reads, frankly, like an adroitly-crafted effort to win public support for the notion that Louisiana is doing nothing wrong by shorting the Saints and that, if the Saints balk, they'll look like insensitive a-holes.

    Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the team has declined comment on whether it will accept the reduced payment. The AP version curiously mentions no effort of any kind to obtain a response from the team.

    Though the folks who run the Superdome seem to think that the Saints can get the lost money from their business interruption insurance policy, our experience with insurance carriers is that they don't like to give money away unless that absolutely have to. (Even then, they still are inclined at times to try to find ways to avoid paying up.) In this case, if the insurance carrier concludes that the State of Louisiana owes the money to the team and that the reduced payment isn't justified by any fine print in the contract, there's no way that the insurance company will cough up a dime.

    So then the question becomes whether the Saints will eat the $12.5 million loss, sue the State of Louisiana for the money, or declare a breach and move the team out of town.

    That's the news item that the AP should be pimping. Even though the NFL has successfully managed to keep a muzzle (and perhaps a straitjacket) on Benson for most of calendar year 2006, getting stiffed on his money might be all that it takes to get him to put a "For Sale" sign on the fleur-de-lis -- raking in a cool billion or so from an L.A. ownership group that would bring not only pro football back to L.A. but also, more importantly, Reggie Bush.

  2. #2
    cajunvike's Avatar
    cajunvike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Saints' path out of Big Easy gets easier.

    As much as I hate to say it, Louisiana and New Orleans would benefit moreso if both the Saints and Hornets left town...the fact of the matter is that New Orleans hasn't been a major league town for years...and it's only getting worse. The rebuilding of New Orleans will take forever...and most of the city should just be abandoned. The highest areas should be reborn as a tourist city much like Galveston was 100 years ago. Baton Rouge could easily pick up the slack...much like Houston did in the early to mid 1900s. Then, after 20 years or so, Baton Rouge can petition for a new team for Louisiana...and build a new, state-of-the-art stadium in an area that is not prone to flooding problems.
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

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