Reports outline Gayle Benson’s Saints ownership succession plan

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The Times-Picayune | Advocate and WVUE-TV reported the first installment in a three-chapter series on the future of the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, the details of which were confirmed by ESPN’s Mike Triplett.

Here’s the gist of it: Benson, 74, has no heirs and intends for the Saints to be sold upon her passing to a buyer who is contractually-bound to keep the team in New Orleans, and for the proceeds to be donated to charities throughout the city. Saints president Dennis Lauscha will serve as the executor of her estate (and, if he is no longer around, for team executives Mickey Loomis and Greg Bensel to see to it).

That would create an influx of potentially several billions of dollars — the latest estimates value the team at more than $2.5 billion — to the New Orleans community, distributed over the years and committed to serving those who need it. Additionally, the Superdome recently inked a long-term naming-rights deal with Caesars Entertainment, which includes options to extend the arrangement another ten to twenty years, further raising the Saints’ valuation. There are still many details to be worked out, but it’s good to know that money would be put to good use.

The future of the Saints has been a topic of curiosity and anxiety ever since longtime owner Tom Benson died in 2018; now, we know there’s a plan in place to keep the team where it belongs and directly benefit the fans and community that have made it so special.

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