SBD/March 21, 2011/Facilities

Saints Planning To Build 5,000-6,000 Seat Stadium Adjacent To HQs

Superdome's $85M renovation project is under way
Saints Owner Tom Benson indicated that he is planning to "build a 5,000- to 6,000-seat stadium on land between" Saints HQs and Zephyr Field, according to James Varney of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Benson owns 10 acres across the street from the club's complex," and he noted that a stadium "would provide an ideal spot for ... practice or a scrimmage." Benson: "We would practice there, and then when these 5,000 people come they've got a place to go, we've got a nice place available for them." The Saints "would also make the stadium, which he envisions opening in 2012, available for high school games." Varney also noted the Superdome's $85M renovation "is under way," and Benson said, "If you hadn't seen it for 20 years, and now you came back to it -- it's got a beautiful color to it, you see windows and you can see inside it, and you can look outside and it's not like you're all in some closed deal, all right?" Benson: "On top of that, the reconfiguration of it! It's like the new stadiums, now they're square more, even the end zones are going to be square. This is what we're going to have here: We're going to have the same thing that any new stadium that has been built has. And we're going to be able to see better in 72,000, 73,000 seats, depending on some little things. We're going to have more seats available and better seats" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/20).

SAVINGS FOR STATE: In New Orleans, Nakia Hogan reported a lockout "wouldn't put a dent" in the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District's finances since the Saints, "like most NFL teams, keep all game-day revenue from the state-owned Superdome." The state, "in reaching a deal nearly two years ago that would keep the Saints playing in the Superdome to 2025 and create revenue streams" for the team "built in a clause that alleviated much of its financial burden to the team if the 2011 season is lost because of a lockout." SMG Regional VP Doug Thornton, whose company manages the Superdome for the state, said that "if anything, a season-long lockout would allow the LSED to save nearly" $1.2M in game-day staffing (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/18).
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