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News » New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2009-04-03


New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2009-04-03


New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2009-04-03
--Saints owner Tom Benson is confident that his organization and the state of Louisiana will have a long-term lease agreement in place soon, which would help the City of New Orleans land the 2013 Super Bowl.


Club officials and the state continue to work on a new lease agreement for the Saints, whose current 10-year deal is scheduled to expire following the 2010 season.

But the Saints and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation worked hand-in-hand recently to put in a formal bid for Super Bowl XLVII to be played in Feb. 2013 in the Superdome. New Orleans, which has hosted nine Super Bowl games, hasn't had one since 2002.

The Superdome, which had to undergo extensive renovations after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, would get more enhancements and upgrades that will make it more appealing to the Saints to sign a long term deal -- probably through 2025.

Benson, who once pushed for a new downtown stadium, expressed enthusiasm for the proposed enhancements to the 34-year-old Superdome, telling the New Orleans Times-Picayune: "I think that what we've got in mind right now, that might even be better than a new stadium."

He also expressed hope that the current negotiations with the state will be completed soon.

"Naturally, I would like it to be over," Benson said during the NFL owners meetings last month. "I really did think we would have it done by now. But our people have made a lot of headway, and I think we're going in the right direction.

"When both sides are interested in getting something done, you'll get it done."

Both sides hope to have the deal in place for the next set of league meetings, which are set for May 18-20. The 2013 Super Bowl will be awarded at those meetings, but New Orleans would likely have to withdraw without a new lease in place.

"We have to make a commitment that we're going to have it done or we have to withdraw it for the May vote," Benson said.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 3, 2009

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