Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the New Orleans Saints

Website design By BotEap.comThe city of New Orleans was the hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The hurricane extensively damaged the Louisiana Superdome, the home of the New Orleans Saints. Because of this, the Saints were unable to play any home games for the entire 2005 NFL season.

Website design By BotEap.comThe Saints practiced for about a week in San Jose, California for a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. This was their first temporary evacuation site. Later, they moved to San Antonio, Texas to establish a temporary headquarters and practice center. The Saints’ first home game during this time was played at Giants Stadium and subsequent games were played at LSU’s Tiger Stadium and the Alamodome in San Antonio. Administrative offices and practices were also held in San Antonio throughout the season.

Website design By BotEap.comDuring this time, media reports indicated that San Antonio expressed the need for a possible permanent relocation of the team to San Antonio. Local officials have strongly expressed these concerns with promises to improve the Alamodome or even build a new stadium for the Saints. Even Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones supported an NFL team moving to San Antonio. But all his efforts were to no avail as the NFL wants to keep the franchise in New Orleans. There were also rumors that the NFL wanted to relocate the team to Los Angeles or even have them expand to Toronto.

Website design By BotEap.comBut this was really bad news for New Orleans Saints fans who thought other people were taking advantage of their situation after Hurricane Katrina to rob the Saints. The San Antonio action infuriated the mayor of New Orleans calling their intentions shameful and disrespectful to the team’s fans who have supported them for decades despite losing most of their games. But Saints owner Tom Benson responded that New Orleans could never be a viable location for the NFL after what happened and that options were suggested for possible franchise relocation and recruiting. Rumor has it that Benson planned to void his lease by declaring the Louisiana Superdome unusable for home games.

Website design By BotEap.comBut the NFL strongly wants the team to stay in Louisiana because it has been there since the late 1960s and they are doing all the necessary negotiations to keep the team there. Many people have approached the Benson team owner amid the Katrina relocation controversy expressing interest in buying the team to keep them in Louisiana, but Benson had no intention of selling the team. Instead, he handed control over to his granddaughter.

Website design By BotEap.comIn February 2006, the NFL announced that the Superdome would reopen in September of the same year after undergoing repairs. However, the preseason games of the year were played elsewhere, but you can be sure that the Saints and the NFL would stay in Louisiana for the long haul. Fall 2006 marked the permanent start of the New Orleans Saints playing their home games at the Superdome.

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