Are The Saints The Only NFL Team Their State Pays To Play In Their Stadium?
With all of the discussion about budget cuts, TOPS, and the like in Louisiana, perhaps we should take a look at the deal the Saints have with our state.
The City of San Diego has a list of all 32 NFL teams that includes how much they pay their state (if at all) to play in their stadiums, what stadium they play in, when the lease is up, and who owns the stadium.
In most cases, it's the state, or the city that the team resides in that owns the stadium. There are a few teams that don't pay anything to play in those stadiums. Take Lambeau Field. For whatever reasons, it makes sense for that team to play there for free.
The most expensive, it seems, comes via the San Francisco 49ers. They pay the city of Santa Clara (where Levi's Stadium is located) $24.5 million a year for 40 years. The Jacksonville Jaguars pay their city $10.2 million a year to play at EverBank Field.
However, the Saints seem to be the ONLY NFL team that their state actually pays THEM to play in the stadium.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is owned by the state of Louisiana, and according to this list, pays the Saints $6 million a year for them to play there, with the lease expiring in 2025.
I know that Tom Benson was looking to move the team after Hurricane Katrina. Maybe this was an incentive for him to keep the team in New Orleans? Admittedly, I could be wrong about that, but it seems that we, the tax payers, are paying for the Saints to play in the Superdome.
Of all the money that every NFL team makes, you would think that paying even $1 million a year, like Paul Allen, the owner of the Seattle Seahawks, and one of the richest men on the planet, pays the state of Washington, that the Saints could cough SOMETHING up...especially if the first game versus the Vikings is any indication of how this season is going to go.