Attention, Ed Roski. You can now scratch the Saints from the list of potential targets to lure to Los Angeles.
The Saints have announced that they will remain in New Orleans through 2025.
The new deal will dramtically reduce the state’s subsidy payments to the Saints; Governor Bobby Jindal claimed that, in comparison to the current arrangement, the new deal will save taxpayers more than $280 million over the next 17 years, with (read my lips) no new taxes to fund the deal.
Saints owner Tom Benson will make up some of the difference between past payments and future payments by buying dormant properties in the vicinity of the Superdome and leasing space back to the state.
“It’s a bold project in an area in need of investment and renewal, and this partnership will take a part of our city that has not bounced back and make it a place the residents of New Orleans and all of Louisiana can be proud of again,” Benson said in a release. “The Superdome is a world-class facility, and it’s going to be enhanced. We are very happy with everything planned, and we want the buildings that surround the stadium to be on the same level.”
Governor Jindal also gushed about the deal. “This is a great day for Saints fans and the whole state of Louisiana,” Jindal said. “Throughout this process, I said we would make sure that this deal makes sense for Louisiana taxpayers – and by executing this agreement we will save the state hundreds of millions of dollars, while making what will be an incredibly successful investment for our state.
“This new partnership results in a long-term lease agreement with the Saints – plus an innovative investment that will dramatically revitalize the Superdome area. By modernizing the Superdome, we will enable the site to be more competitive with venues around the country. At the same time, we have the opportunity to revitalize an area of downtown New Orleans that has remained dormant for four years – and generate further economic development in the region.”
Technically, the agreement is subject to approval by the Louisiana Legislature. But it’s unlikely that the lawmakers will balk, since a new deal is needed to solidify New Orleans’ bid for the 2013 Super Bowl.