Neither the fallout from the Saints’ bounty program nor the status of Drew Brees as an unsigned free agent has deterred the ticket-buying public in New Orleans.
Citing a Wall Street Journal chart showing that the Saints lead the league when it comes to filling their stadium (and actually overfill their stadium, with an average attendance of 73,041 at the 68,000-seat Superdome), team spokesman Greg Bensel boasted that more than 99 percent of season ticket holders from last year have renewed for this year.
“New Orleans and Saints fans continue to defy odds and lead the NFL in overall attendance by FAR,” Bensel wrote on Twitter. “Saints fans are the best in the NFL – bar none . . . even during a tough offseason, Saints fans continue to lead the way with a 99.6% renewal rate and a waiting list to buy suites.”
Saints fans have a history of showing resilience in much tougher situations than the one the team has been faced with this offseason: At the start of the 2006 season, after a year in which the team had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the Saints fans filled the house for their first game back at the Superdome and gave their team one of the loudest receptions that any home crowd has ever produced as they beat the Falcons on a Monday night in their home opener.
If the New Orleans crowd is anything like that for this year’s opener, the Redskins are in for a rough game in Week One.