Report: San Antonio could get four Saints games

Updated: September 9, 2005, 1:42 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- A deal is close that would move four of the New Orleans Saints' home games to the Alamodome, according to a published report.

The San Antonio Express-News, citing unidentified sources close to the negotiations, said Friday that city and Saints officials have nearly completed a deal to bring four games to the city.

A high-ranking city official said the NFL hasn't signed off on the deal, but other city government sources told the newspaper they didn't expect any problems gaining approval from league commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The Saints have set up makeshift headquarters and are practicing in San Antonio because of the hurricane damage to the Louisiana Superdome. They have said they would prefer to play their home games at LSU in Baton Rouge. The newspaper said the plan being discussed also would move three Saints' home games to LSU's Tiger Stadium.

The newspaper said an announcement on an agreement could come as early as Friday.

"I'm not aware that an agreement has been reached," NFL spokesman Joe Browne told The Associated Press. "The scheduling of games needs approval of the commissioner."

B.J. "Red" McCombs, a San Antonio businessman and former Minnesota Vikings owner, has helped facilitate talks between the city and the Saints.

"It looks a little better every day," McCombs said.

The newspaper said likely games to be moved to San Antonio are Oct. 2 against Buffalo, Oct. 16 against Atlanta; Dec. 4 against Tampa Bay and Dec. 24 against Detroit. The Oct. 2 date opened after the Builder's Showcase Expo at the Alamodome agreed to reschedule, dome director Mike Abington said.

The newspaper said the projected dates for Baton Rouge are Oct. 30 against Miami, Nov. 6 against Chicago and Dec. 18 against Carolina.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press