Saints’ motto: You gotta have faith – and some overpriced tickets

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 7, 2005

[7/7/05]

I received my New Orleans Saints season ticket order form last Thursday. Of course, I am not a season ticket holder, don’t plan on being a season ticket holder and rarely watch the Saints on TV.

The 8-by-10 glossy card has Deuce McAllister on the cover, obviously trying to make an immediate connection with the Magnolia State. Alongside was the Saints’ motto this season: “You gotta have faith.” Truth is, the dedicated lot who call themselves Saints fans have been having faith for almost four decades. In return, they have received one playoff win in six chances, 26 losing seasons, a cavernous edifice for a stadium and a lifetime worth of heartache. Oh, did I mention an increasingly shrinking bank account?

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On the back of the 8-by-10 color card is a seating chart for the Superdome, a list of opponents and ticket prices.

For a mere $1,300, or $130 per game, or $32.50 per quarter, one can sit in what’s called the club sideline. These seats extend from goal line to goal line on the middle level. Nice seats. The price is also a season’s worth of house rent.

For the less affluent, fans can sit in the plaza sidelines for $790. They are close to the field and only the high-class drunks sit in those seats.

The prices decrease exponentially from there from $730 in the middle end zone, to $500 for the terrace sideline. Terrace is a euphemism for skyscraper seating. For $50 per game, you may sit a mere Cessna flight from the field. From the terrace level, first-round draft pick Jammal Brown (a hulking 6-foot, 4-inch, 330-pound offensive tackle) will look like a Star Wars action figure. Another factor: The drunks are a little more ornery from this level.

The really cheap seats are terrace end zone. Those are only $25 per game, if you have season tickets, but $35 for single-game purchase. Heck, for $35, one could purchase 11 pitchers of beer and two hot dogs on football Sundays at Ameristar Casino.

Which brings us to single games. The home schedule is full of the good (Atlanta Falcons, the only playoff team among the eight-team schedule), the bad (New York Giants, Carolina and Buffalo) and the ugly (Miami, Detroit, Chicago, and Tampa Bay.)

Six of the eight finished with losing records and three finished dead last in their respective divisions. Tell me that doesn’t make the football heart go pitter-patter.

Just think, for a pair of Air Jordans and a case of Budweiser, you too can sit in sideline heaven watching the, ugh, Chicago Bears.

But oh how the fans will come. For some reason, football fans in New Orleans keep coming back despite years of failure and skyrocketing ticket prices.

You gotta have faith – that the loan application to buy season tickets will be approved.