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Terry Bradshaw interested in buying Saints
SHREVEPORT, La. -- Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw said Wednesday he wants to put a potential ownership group together that would attempt to buy the New Orleans Saints and keep them in Louisiana, where Bradshaw grew up.
"I'm supporting the citizens of Louisiana who don't deserve to lose the Saints because of a hurricane," said Bradshaw, who starred for Louisiana Tech before winning four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bradshaw, now an NFL analyst for the Fox network, was in Shreveport for his induction into the city's Walk of Stars. He also viewed the installation of the first sign marking the new "Terry Bradshaw Passway" on Shreveport's inner highway loop.
Bradshaw told The Times of Shreveport that he doesn't have the money to buy the team himself. He said he has sought out additional investors, but did not name them. He is not sure whether Saints owner Tom Benson is interested selling at this time, however.
"I have pursued other avenues to find out if Mr. Benson would be interested in selling the Saints," Bradshaw said. "I had to make sure I lined up the money. You've got to find out what Mr. Benson wants first."
Benson has said he would prefer to keep the Saints in New Orleans but does not know if the city can support it. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has joined in discussions between the Saints and the Louisiana governor's office.
The Saints have relocated temporarily to San Antonio since the storm. They've played two games there and a third is scheduled in December.
But last week, Benson agreed to move back two crucial deadlines in the team's Louisiana Superdome lease with the state. An attorney for the Superdome, Larry Roedel, said this week that moving the deadlines all but guaranteed the Saints will play a 2006 schedule in Louisiana. He added that he has received assurances to that effect from the NFL, although the NFL has yet to confirm that publicly.
"We are focused on the Saints in Louisiana, including possible arrangements for their home playing schedule in 2006. No decisions have been made," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
Roedel said he planned to meet this week with Saints representatives to work on new contract language.
The agreed upon contractual change would push back from Nov. 27 a provision giving the Saints the option to break their contract with the state because the Superdome was not fit for football after being damaged by Hurricane Katrina. That deadline has been pushed back to Jan. 15, 2007.
The change would also extend a March 31, 2006, deadline in the current agreement that gives the Saints the right to move to another city after this season by paying back $81 million in direct subsidies the team received from the state during the first four years of a 10-year, $186.5 million deal signed in 2001. That date has been extended by one year to March 31, 2007.
State officials said the Superdome, which received an estimated $125 million to $150 million in damage, will be ready for games a year from now.
The Saints still could attempt to break the lease before the new deadline by arguing the Superdome was not fit to house NFL games.
If they try that, however, the state will take the matter to court, arguing that the dome is being repaired and that an acceptable alternative was provided in LSU's Tiger Stadium.
"Just as the Saints' contention may be asserted until January 2007, so can our defensive positions," Roedel said.
Re: Terry Bradshaw interested in buying Saints
benson or bradshaw,should either one be allowed to own a sports team?