<
>

Report: San Antonio could get four Saints games

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.