METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans proprietor Gayle Benson and group officers revealed the groups’ long-term succession plans intimately for the primary time on Wednesday, telling The Times-Picayune and WVUE-TV that they might be offered with the purpose of protecting the groups in New Orleans and distributing the proceeds to charity.
The association, which has been authorised by the NFL, is just like what occurred after Buffalo Bills proprietor Ralph Wilson died in 2014 and the group was later offered to Terry and Kim Pegula.
Benson, 74, and Saints president Dennis Lauscha, who would function the executor of her property, stated the proceeds can be distributed to charities that profit the folks of New Orleans, together with the fields of schooling, well being care, arts and sciences and humanitarian causes.
A Saints and Pelicans official confirmed particulars of the plan to ESPN.
“I am unable to take it with me,” stated Benson, who changed her late husband Tom Benson as proprietor in 2018 and has no heirs of her personal. “God offers us presents, and it is a present. I’m a steward for this [organization]. And we assist different folks with it. My want is to scatter all the nice and presents that God and Tom have given me to this metropolis and neighborhood.”
In response to the report, the choice to distribute proceeds to native charities originated when Tom Benson was nonetheless the proprietor. The problem of long-term succession has been a curiosity ever since Tom revealed in 2015 that he needed to depart his franchises to Gayle, whom he married in 2004, as an alternative of his daughter and grandchildren. That set off a bitter authorized feud over the following two years and ended with a non-public settlement.
One motive the succession plan has develop into related at this time is as a result of the Saints are concerned in long-term lease-extension talks with the state of Louisiana and the Caesars Superdome, the lease for which runs by means of 2025.
Lauscha stated a lease extension would tie the Saints to New Orleans long run, even when possession have been to alter fingers, as a result of the NFL has a coverage in opposition to groups breaching a lease settlement to change markets. Lauscha additionally stated a good lease settlement would make it extra enticing for a future proprietor to wish to keep in New Orleans.
“I wish to guarantee that we maintain the groups right here,” Benson added. “I need them to remain in New Orleans perpetually.”