UnSaintly Economic Development

Has the Lone Star State's noteworthy generosity after Hurricane Katrina morphed into old-fashioned Texas opportunism? One can't help but wonder, with the news that San ...
by | October 18, 2005

Has the Lone Star State's noteworthy generosity after Hurricane Katrina morphed into old-fashioned Texas opportunism?

Superdome One can't help but wonder, with the news that San Antonio is courting football's New Orleans Saints. The Saints, whose home, the Superdome (pictured) took a beating, have been practicing in San Antonio since Katrina. They are scheduled to play three of this season's "home" games in the Alamodome. Now, San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger has been quoted as saying that he "would like to have the team stay here permanently."

State officials smell a deal, too. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is reportedly "open to the idea" of using state money to subsidize the team's move to San Antonio. Meanwhile, state Sen. Jeff Wentworth is looking into tapping a Texas economic development fund to help the Saints go marching west.

What's more, the Saints' owner has ties to San Antonio. He is said to have been interested in moving the team there for some time. It's not unreasonable for a businessman to question whether New Orleans will emerge as viable as it once was to host an NFL team.

Still, the specter of Texas meddling in that decision--so soon after the storm--doesn't sound like the "great compassion of the Texas people" that President Bush talked about a few weeks ago.

UPDATE (10/19): An NFL spokesman says: "The mayor of San Antonio does not control the future of the Saints."