While the Superdome reportedly is not as badly damaged as once feared, the Saints might not be able to play there next year either.
As a result, the NFL is working on other options -- one being that the Saints could play their 2006 home schedule at LSU, the New York Daily News reported.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who plans on attending the Saints' "home" game at Baton Rouge on Oct. 30, plans to discuss Baton Rouge being a 2006 option with Saints owner Tom Benson and LSU officials, the Daily News reported.
When asked about the Saints' future Monday night, Tagliabue wasn't thinking beyond 2005, however.
"I haven't gotten beyond worrying about 2005," Tagliabue was quoted as saying in the Daily News. "Obviously the biggest issues in New Orleans now are the ones the president spoke about, which their elected leadership is beginning to discuss with their business community: How do they rebuild the city? What's the shape of the city? What kind of businesses do they want there? What kind of a population base do they want there?"
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the damage to the Superdome might not be as bad as first thought.
Doug Thornton, he regional vice president of SMG, the company that manages the Superdome, said a second inspection revealed the damage to the stadium wasn't as bad as first estimated.
"I'm a little more encouraged after walking through it a second time," Thornton told the Times-Picayune
The Superdome was a shelter of last resort during Katrina and thousands of evacuees were stranded there for several days. Toilets
backed up and overflowed, the Dome Cafe and some offices were
looted and trash was left behind as evacuees abandoned property.
The condition of other areas, such as the luxury suites on the
third and fourth levels, was not known since they were not
inspected Friday, Menard said.
The roof sustained large gashes during the hurricane and the rubber coating that covered the huge dome was blown off. Water leaked throughout the building, flooding corridors outside the first-floor locker rooms and suites, pouring down elevator shafts,
and sending water-logged acoustic tiles crashing onto soaked
Electricity went off during the hurricane and a generator
powered only emergency lighting. There was no air conditioning and
large areas of the building, including the bathrooms, were
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.