October 19, 2005

The Cleveland Plan

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said something today that, in a rarity for him, didn't cause horrible embarrassment:

I'm ready to go to the NFL and to [commissioner Paul] Tagliabue and say, 'Give us the Cleveland plan,'" Nagin added, referring to the league awarding Cleveland an expansion team almost immediately after the Browns moved to Baltimore after the 1995 season. "Whatever the Saints want to do, you let them leave, but they can't take our logo, they can't take our name, and you give us a promise to give us a franchise when this city's back."
This strikes me as the sensible plan. With the city decimated, the Superdome uninhabitable and no alternatives readily available, and next to no money in the local economy to be spent on tickets or luxury boxes there is, sadly, really no way the Saints can continue to function in New Orleans beyond this year.

But don't put them in San Antonio. It's at once a pure basketball town and solid Cowboys territory, and it's way too small a market for the NFL. And besides, the thought of Red McCombs once again buying into the league is way, way, too horrific to even contemplate. Read this if you don't believe me.

So move the current Saints to LA, keeping them in the NFC West. And in five years, re-constitute the Saints in New Orleans. And since we'd need an even number of teams, put a second expansion team in Vegas. See? Everybody's happy.

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 19, 2005 08:51 PM

I totally agree. Las Vegas needs more sports action.

Posted by: A at October 20, 2005 10:51 AM
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