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New deal keeps Saints in New Orleans

April 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM   |   Comments

NEW ORLEANS, April 30 (UPI) -- The New Orleans Saints have reached an agreement that will keep the NFL team in Louisiana through 2025 and create a sports development district.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who appeared at a news conference Thursday with Saints owner Tom Benson, said the agreement would save the state $280 million in payments to the team over 17 years.

The deal involves an $85 million updating of the Superdome, which would be paid for by the state. Benson would buy a nearby vacant office building and the Saints and the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District would develop an area featuring an interactive entertainment venue, commercial office space, entertainment and parking.

"This new partnership results in a long-term lease agreement with the Saints -- plus an innovative investment that will dramatically revitalize the Superdome area," Jindal said. "By modernizing the Superdome, we will enable the site to be more competitive with venues around the country. At the same time, we have the opportunity to revitalize an area of downtown New Orleans that has remained dormant for four years -- and generate further economic development in the region."

The agreement is subject to approval by the Louisiana state legislature.

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