The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Can We Support An NFL Franchise?

The San Antonio powers that be, believe we can:

Summoned on short notice to a breakfast at La Cantera Country Club, high-ranking corporate officials — including representatives from Toyota, USAA, Washington Mutual, Valero and Clear Channel Communications — met with city leaders and voiced support for the belle of the breakfast, Saints owner Tom Benson.

The meeting, called late Tuesday by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, was expected to have about 50 participants, but instead drew nearly 200. The standing-room throng that turned out heard an emotional speech by former mayor Henry Cisneros about the need to bring an NFL team to San Antonio.

Cisneros told attendees that filling the Alamodome for Saints games "redoubles our mutual effort in building our community — and it is a financial affirmation of economic momentum."

But the NFL does not:

The NFL, Glade says, believes San Antonio can pull in only 25,000 fans per game, not enough to support a franchise.

What happens to the New Orleans Saints after this season is up in the air. The Superdome is likely to be torn down, and as Baton Rouge officials have reiterated, they don't have the requisite hotel rooms to handle an NFL football franchise.

These three games will go a long way to show the NFL whether or not we have the requisite support to field a NFL franchise. There are about 200,000 tickets on sale (65,000 seats/game multiplied by three), and as of last night we had sold around 80,000. If we have any chance of landing an NFL team, we need to sell these games out.