SBD/Issue 129/Franchises

NFL Franchise Notes: Saints Hoping Super Bowl Will Return To N.O.

Benson Confident Saints And Louisiana Will
Have Long-Term Lease In Place Soon
In New Orleans, Mike Triplett reports Saints Owner Tom Benson yesterday "expressed his confidence" that the Saints and the state of Louisiana "will have a long-term lease agreement in place soon, and the Super Bowl will return to New Orleans in 2013." Saints and state officials "have shared that optimism, predicting that a deal will be in place” prior to the league’s May 18-20 meetings, during which Super Bowl XLVII will be awarded. New Orleans "plans to submit its bid to host that game by the April 1 deadline." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday said that he "would like to see the game return to New Orleans for a record-tying 10th time if all the elements are in place." Meanwhile, Benson yesterday "showed great enthusiasm for the proposed enhancements to the Superdome." Benson: "What we've got in mind right now, that might even be better than a new stadium" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/24).

BUCKING BRONCOS: In Denver, Jim Armstrong reports the Broncos "haven't taken an economic hit" from the public fight between coach Josh McDaniels and QB Jay Cutler. The team is “wrapping up their season-ticket drive and feeling no effects from hard times among their fan base or hard feelings between their coach and quarterback.” Broncos Exec Dir of Ticket Operations Kirk Dyer indicated that the team has seen a 90% renewal rate for season tickets. Meanwhile, Armstrong notes Broncos players "have been told by Josh McDaniels not to talk about Cutler" (DENVER POST, 3/24).

STADIUM QUEST: Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that the team's stadium situation is "'rising on the agenda' of the NFL after the team provided league officials with an update on their quest to get public funding." In Minneapolis, Chip Scoggins notes Vikings and NFL officials yesterday at the owners meetings met to "discuss the stadium situation" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/24).

PERSONAL TOUCH: In Cincinnati, Joe Reedy reported with the Bengals ticket renewal deadline "drawing close," season-ticket holders are "getting an audio message from [QB] Carson Palmer either thanking them for renewing or reminding them to call the ticket office where [representatives] would work with them on payment plans" (CINCINNATI.com, 3/20).

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