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Saints sell out 2011 season

Pittsburgh Steelers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The longest work stoppage in NFL history can’t dim the enthusiasm of Saints fans.

While the majority of teams around the league struggle to sell tickets in this uncertain environment, the Saints have already sold out the entire 2011 season in the renovated Louisiana Superdome.

With 73,000 seats now in the stadium, the Saints will boast the sixth straight year of sellouts since returning to the city after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s a remarkable story.  The franchise was struggling to sell tickets before the storm and the city of New Orleans, already small by NFL standards, lost a dramatic amount of its population.   98% of season tickets were renewed despite the lockout.

“This is consistent with years prior. It speaks to the passion of our fans,” VP of communications Greg Bensel told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The paper says the NFL was “overjoyed” with the rare bit of good news this offseason.

“It highlights the passion of the fans, and it’s a real credit to the Saints organization and their great fans,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an email to the paper.

The Saints have also avoided any staff pay cuts or furloughs during the lockout.  It’s hard to believe, but owner Tom Benson now runs one of the league’s model franchises.

Six years and a franchise quarterback can change so much.

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37 Responses to “Saints sell out 2011 season”
  1. tommyf15 says: May 22, 2011 2:20 PM

    So much for those fan revolts over the labor situation.

  2. grandpoopah says: May 22, 2011 2:21 PM

    Clearly, the Saints’ popularity and success is attributable to the team’s owner, not its lazy, spoiled, greedy, communist “franchise QB.” If you have been keeping up with the totally unsuspicious anti-player comments on this site, you would know that players like Drew Brees are easily replaceable.

  3. bw82b says: May 22, 2011 2:28 PM

    “six years and a franchise qb can change so much”

    you’re absolutely right but dont forget about Sean Payton,he’s been instrumental in their resurgence.

  4. Ars6091 says: May 22, 2011 2:30 PM

    What are they going to do?….stare at the empty Superdome field?…this season is TOAST

  5. girlsinthesouthlovefootball says: May 22, 2011 2:32 PM

    Who Dat!!

  6. Meester Foowtbawl says: May 22, 2011 2:33 PM

    I hear Tom Benson might dance for them

  7. goawayeverybody says: May 22, 2011 2:36 PM

    The Saints and their organization absolutely RULE. Awesome team, awesome quarterback, awesome coach, and players that very rarely get into trouble with “off-field issues.” That team is like a family, I swear.

  8. stixzidinia says: May 22, 2011 2:39 PM

    Lemmings.

  9. 504in860 says: May 22, 2011 2:51 PM

    The franchise was struggling to sell tickets before the storm
    ________________________________

    Not really accurate.

  10. bluebrewer says: May 22, 2011 2:58 PM

    “The Saints and their organization absolutely RULE. Awesome team, awesome quarterback, awesome coach, and players that very rarely get into trouble with “off-field issues.” That team is like a family, I swear.”

    I have nothing against the saints but remember star-caps , the vicodin scandal, reggie bush. They are far from flawless. That said they are still class act compared to most other teams like Vikings,Raiders, etc…

  11. camnewton420 says: May 22, 2011 3:03 PM


    dj khaled im on one

  12. tommyf15 says: May 22, 2011 3:05 PM

    grandpoopah says:
    May 22, 2011 2:21 PM
    Clearly, the Saints’ popularity and success is attributable to the team’s owner, not its lazy, spoiled, greedy, communist “franchise QB.”

    This poster needs to grow up and actually learn what a communist is.

    What Brees is looking for is capitalistic. What the owners want is communistic.

  13. whatsafairway says: May 22, 2011 3:20 PM

    Cajuns, God lov’em.

    Party animals to the bitter end, in a town with drive-thru daiquiri joints.

    The fans used to wear paper bags with holes cut in them have moved on to just having holes in their heads.

  14. deegizzle says: May 22, 2011 3:26 PM

    The franchise was struggling to sell tickets before the storm
    —————————————

    This isn’t quite accurate. The Saints sold out every single game from about the 2nd game of the 2000 season all the way through the 2004 season. The Katrina year was the only year where they really struggled to sell and for obvious reasons.

  15. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: May 22, 2011 3:34 PM

    Isn’t it a shame that the Saints’ fans won’t get to see any football this season.

  16. goawayeverybody says: May 22, 2011 3:36 PM

    bluebrewer – you are an idiot.

    vicodin scandal, are you freaking kidding me? The coach likes pain killers, oh noes!!!!! not that!!!!

    starcaps – that is not an “off-field issue” and that was so two years ago.

    Reggie Bush – okay so we are to hold the Saints accountable for Reggie Bush cheating DURING COLLEGE????

    Idiot.

  17. goawayeverybody says: May 22, 2011 3:37 PM

    Btw, grandpoobah, I thought your comment was brilliant but I believe your sarcasm went over the heads of most folks here.

  18. annnann says: May 22, 2011 3:38 PM

    grandpoopah,

    It’s not because of the owner that Saints’ tickets are selling out, I can guarantee you that. Benson actually wanted to move the team to San Antonio because of poor ticket sales and the devastation of Katrina. Ever since 2006, which happens to be the year Sean Payton and Drew Brees came to New Orleans, tickets have sold out every season and San Antonio has never been brought back up. So once again, trust me when I say it’s not because of Tom Benson tickets are sold out.

    But I do understand your anger, players and owners need to come together so the fans who have brought tickets can actually watch a game. We appreciate both Drew Brees and Tom Benson so it’s time for them to appreciate each other.

  19. senorwinces says: May 22, 2011 3:44 PM

    tommyf15 says: May 22, 2011 3:05 PM

    grandpoopah says:
    May 22, 2011 2:21 PM
    Clearly, the Saints’ popularity and success is attributable to the team’s owner, not its lazy, spoiled, greedy, communist “franchise QB.”

    This poster needs to grow up and actually learn what a communist is.

    What Brees is looking for is capitalistic. What the owners want is communistic.

    Tomyf15 apparently missed grandpoopah’s sarcasm.

  20. gypjet says: May 22, 2011 4:06 PM

    Quick, everyone go to TMZ and see how gay Tom Brady is on the waterslide. What a nancy boy.

  21. nflconspiracytheoristdeluxe says: May 22, 2011 4:13 PM

    This is sad in a way. The fans (and the corporations who buy season tix and luxury boxes) have so much power to get these yahoos to solve their problems if they just withhold the bucks and scream “Enough!”.

    I can’t tell whether they’re too lazy, too dumb, too meek, or too indoctrinated (in other words, too traditional, i.e., we buy tix every year no matter what) to take a stand.

  22. grandpoopah says: May 22, 2011 4:21 PM

    @tommyf, you need to grow up and learn what sarcasm is. Wow.

  23. dirtytaco says: May 22, 2011 4:37 PM

    It will take another hurricane for this team to win the SB again

  24. dan39564 says: May 22, 2011 5:00 PM

    Tom Benson, eccentially is a car salesman, who got a football team, and had no idea how to run it.
    He made some very bad choices for GM, VP, and Head Coach! He or someone in the Saints organization got it right, and they put together a winning team, from top to bottom and won a Lombardi! I am not a Saints fan, but I know many of them, don’t ever sell them short.
    I have been to the Super Dome on many occasions, and this is one of the few venues in the NFL, where you can wear visiting team colors without fear!

  25. innerlign says: May 22, 2011 5:03 PM

    We are the best fans in the league. This is why.

  26. domehead says: May 22, 2011 5:52 PM

    Look no further than GM Mickey Loomis. I was pretty pissed when Benson fired Randy Meuller in 2002, who I thought was finally the football guy we needed in the front office. But since then, he’s been quietly solid and has put together the management team that won Super Bowl XLIV.

    Tom Benson may be a car salesman, but he’s smart enough to let a football man manage the team and not butt into the football operations (unlike some other teams). In addition, granddaughter Rite Benson LeBlanc (owner/Exec VP) is heir apparent, so the ownership team is in place for a long time. Future is bright.

    Pre-Katrina the real problem was getting enought corporate sponsorship to buy up the suites and a lack of other revenue generators that big market teams take for granted.

  27. spankymcwanky says: May 22, 2011 6:21 PM

    Just my point of view to those who are saying the “people” have the power to withhold their money to “show” the owners their displeasure, I would like to add that some teams, like the Saints, have a very large waiting list of people who want season tickets. If someone wants to “show the owners” by not buying their season tickets, then they are giving up their chance to buy season tickets for a very long time. They will have to go to the back of the line of that waiting list, because this impasse will end eventually. And, I would think, quite a large number of people would rather have the opportunity to buy season tickets every year than to show their displeasure this year and screw themselves out of getting season tickets for the next 20 years.

  28. rboyett says: May 22, 2011 6:21 PM

    WHODAT!

  29. chatham10 says: May 22, 2011 6:36 PM

    They must be the best fans in the world because who else buys tickets when there is nothing to watch.

  30. txhc says: May 22, 2011 7:11 PM

    This showing of intelligence by the people of New Orleans doesn’t really surprise me. After all, these are the same people that didn’t leave after being given multiple warnings that Katrina was not the average storm and was coming to wreck shop with extreme prejudice. I hope other fanbases aren’t this stupid. Hold onto your money until they give us a product, people! Selling out the entire season during a lockout? Unbelievable. Maybe the owners are right and for every sensible NFL fan out there there are 1,000 more idiots that will buy anything with an NFL logo on it regardless of the circumstances or the cost. If so then the fans have already lost. The average ticket price will be $500 soon.

  31. Deb says: May 22, 2011 7:13 PM

    Congratulations to the Saints and their loyal fans. And I hope Roger Goodell is paying attention since the Toronto mayor claims he’s planning to sit down and discuss the possibility of moving the Saints to Canada! Surely Tom Benson would never consider that. Goodell needs a kick in the backside for even agreeing to the conversation.

  32. rcali says: May 22, 2011 9:11 PM

    Exactly why the owners are the front runners. Almost completely free loan from the fans for the next 6 months +.

  33. joelvis72 says: May 22, 2011 9:23 PM

    “whatsafairway” is the prime example of a cellar-dwelling, hairy-palmed troll who uses the anonymity of the internet to say things he can’t back up in person.

  34. jpmelon says: May 22, 2011 10:06 PM

    @ Deb….

    You’re thinking about Doug Ford….he’s a councillor….his brother is the mayor of Toronto (Doug Ford is not the mayor). And he came out and said he had absolutely no idea what he was talking about when he said that about the saints. He had to apologize for starting that rumor…..on top of that, the Saints just signed a 20 or 25 year agreement with the state of Louisiana for the use of the Superdome.

    Goodell has said that Toronto does not have a venue acceptable for an NFL team. The Rogers Centre is designed for baseball games and doesn’t have the seating capacity for a permanent NFL team.

  35. fusion3450 says: May 22, 2011 10:53 PM

    txhc says:
    May 22, 2011 7:11 PM
    This showing of intelligence by the people of New Orleans doesn’t really surprise me. After all, these are the same people that didn’t leave after being given multiple warnings that Katrina was not the average storm and was coming to wreck shop with extreme prejudice. I hope other fanbases aren’t this stupid. Hold onto your money until they give us a product, people! Selling out the entire season during a lockout? Unbelievable. Maybe the owners are right and for every sensible NFL fan out there there are 1,000 more idiots that will buy anything with an NFL logo on it regardless of the circumstances or the cost. If so then the fans have already lost. The average ticket price will be $500 soon.

    you’re an idiot. as a saints season ticket holder i have two words for you. f@#% you! you want to get on a site like this and insultant intelligence of people down here. i can pretty much guarantee that none of the people you saw on tv after katrina have seats in the superdome. actually most of us don’t live in new orleans but surrounding areas. i can’t believe people like you still have nothing better on us than katrina. it was 6 years ago ass. we don’t talk about it much anymore. as far as paying for tickets, nobody wanted to pay for them but they kind of have us by the balls. if we don’t pay, there are 60,000 on the waiting list that will be glad to. so what is you advice? lose the rights to our seats for years? i just get so sick of seeing the same crap from people on here!!

  36. Deb says: May 22, 2011 11:16 PM

    @jpmelon …

    Thanks for the clarification! Have been busy and have missed some of the headlines lately. I’m vehemently opposed to moving any team from its loyal fans and to expanding the NFL outside the United States. Thought the world had gone nuts when I read on PFT that Toronto wanted to talk about getting the Saints. So glad to hear they have a long-term home in New Orleans where they belong!

  37. woodreaux70119 says: May 23, 2011 7:42 AM

    …the unsung hero here is rita benson-leblanc. ever since she joined the front office, things have changed… tom benson is still a hapless dolt…

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