BATON ROUGE — Team owner Gayle Benson and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stood outside the state capitol today to formally announce the decision to relocate the Saints from their longtime home of New Orleans to the state capital of Baton Rouge.
The decision comes after the city’s mayor denied the team’s request to allow for fans at approximately 25% capacity at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in their upcoming game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite nightly crowds of unmasked revelers in the city’s French Quarter and on the famous Bourbon Street, Mayor Latoya Cantrell drew the line at recreational events that could lift the spirits of locals.
“At present, no NFL stadium in the country with a fixed-roof facility is allowing such an exception,” Mayor Latoya Cantrell released in a statement on Twitter. Her focus on the fixed-roof wasn’t completely insane or irrelevant — the roof of the Superdome has been under constant scrutiny ever since a gaping hole in it was repaired following Hurricane Katrina, preventing any potential outside air from entering the facility.
After their request was denied, the Saints began talks with officials at Lousiana State University in Baton Rouge about potentially hosting future home games at Tiger Stadium on campus. Baton Rouge, with a much smaller population than New Orleans, and almost zero potential interest for anyone to ever visit it ever, doesn’t have nearly the same level of restrictive measures aimed to protect their citizens against the coronavirus pandemic. The talks blossomed into full-blown relocation negotiations, which were finalized yesterday afternoon.
While the announcement didn’t include any potential names, Benson did state that the team would be dropping the iconic moniker and fleur-des-lis mascot. “It’s time to move on,” Benson said. “The Saints are dead, just like my husband.”
A few of the purported mascots being considered are the Baton Rouge “Governor’s Mansions,” “Tigerland Roofies,” “Spanish Moons,” and “Okay Po Boys.”
A source within the organization also suggested the name “Destroyaz” was being considered along with a stylized “LA” logo, a reference to Mayor Latoya “The Destroya” Cantrell’s hometown of Los Angeles and her unofficial nickname.
More details are set to be released in the coming weeks.