Benson meets with Tagliabue, owners' committee
NEW YORK -- The NFL remains focused on returning the New Orleans Saints to Louisiana next season, the league said after a Tuesday meeting between team owner Tom Benson and commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
A committee of eight owners also met for about an hour to discuss the future of the team, displaced by Hurricane Katrina just before the season began. The Saints have been based in San Antonio since leaving New Orleans.
"Both meetings were positive and continued to focus on the Saints' operations in Louisiana," league spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.
Tagliabue has repeatedly said he would like the Saints to play as many games as possible in Louisiana in 2006 and officials in New Orleans say they believe the Superdome, badly damaged by the hurricane, could be ready by next Nov. 1.
The team has been home at three different venues this season, playing its "home" opener against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. New Orleans has played the rest of its home games either in San Antonio or Baton Rouge, La.
The moves have been one reason for the team's 3-11 record, the worst by far in coach Jim Haslett's six-year tenure.
Haslett, who has one year left on his contract, said Monday he has no plans to resign. He added that he believes Benson is "stressed out" with other issues facing the team.
"It's been a hard couple of months for him," Haslett said. "He's got tough decisions ahead of him. He's got other things on his mind."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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