23 October 2005
Saints to be converted?
Chris Mortensen of ESPN is predicting that 2005 will be the last season for the New Orleans Saints, that the team, temporarily berthed in San Antonio in the wake of Katrina, will either remain there permanently or eventually find its way to Los Angeles.
While [Saints owner Tom] Benson will be vilified, especially given the public sympathy New Orleans has after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city is a poor home for an NFL franchise. The Super Dome, while a marvel when new, was a dilapidated, obsolescent stadium even before the storm damage and it is a very small market, indeed especially considering that it is so close to the much more popular Dallas Cowboys.
San Antonio isn't all that much larger Nielsen Media Research ranks it 37th, while New Orleans is 43rd so the team may well end up in L.A. instead of La.
And this adds yet another potential twist to the eventual fate of New Orleans' NBA team, the Hornets, currently settling in Oklahoma City (market #45): if the Saints are definitely gone, there will likely be more pressure on Hornets owner George Shinn to bring his team back to the Big Easy. Then again, the NBA may have another round of expansion in a few years, in which New Orleans might get another franchise to replace the Hornets; the NFL, however, has no plans to expand.Posted at 1:58 PM to Dyssynergy