This is a Len Pasquarelli column that recaps Benson’s meeting on Tueday with the NFL owners. He seems pretty sure that the Saints aren’t moving.
He does also mention the ticket sales figures that Dave has been concerned with:
Saints fans, among the league’s most loyal and long-suffering, have purchased only 26,000 season tickets for 2005. More significant, there is a sense of ennui surrounding the ongoing battle between the team and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who inherited a bum deal that was negotiated by her predecessor.
There is, for sure, a danger here: During all the bad seasons, and all of the incompetent performances of the past, Saints fans have mostly remained passionate about their team. But in the wake of the political brinksmanship being currently waged, some emotion has waned, and the fan base has taken a hit.
Benson on Tuesday deflected suggestions that slumping ticket sales reflected a backlash from the fans, preferring to assign the slippage to the economy of a severely blunted city and state. But economics have always been a compelling issue for the Saints, and could be the component that eventually opens the exit door for Benson and his team.