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Home and Away


While standing in the turnstile line one of the entrance gates at the Superdome at the famed 2006 home opener against the Falcons, Canada native Ryan Postic was feeling charged up about traveling over 2,000 miles to take in his first Saints game in person.

Behind him in the line was another Saints fan, which as Postic recalls, had a rather unusual accent. "I heard him talking with a thick German accent and thought to myself, "And I thought I came from a long way away!" The two spoke briefly before making their way into the Saints' home field and cheering the Saints onto victory.

The man he spoke to was Dennis Busse, who is also Saints season ticket holder, and a native of Gottingen, Germany.

And what a game they picked the re-opening of the Superdome on September 25, 2006. "That was unbelievable," Busse said. "The atmosphere, the crowd and of course the city of New Orleans were awesome. After that game, I became a true fan of the New Orleans Saints."

The scene illustrates just how far the Saints' season-ticket holder fan base extends. Season tickets holders of the Saints, while obviously generally hailing from the Gulf South region, create a diverse and intriguing population base in the Superdome on game days. According to information from the Saints' ticket department, season ticket holders for the Saints represent 48-of-the-50 states in the United States (including Alaska), as well as three foreign countries (Canada, Russia and Germany).

"It's a testament to the quality product that our organization is fielding and giving fans, not just from our region, but from all over the world, a reason to come and cheer on the Saints," said Mike Stanfield, the Saints' vice president of ticket and suite sales. "When you think about virtually every state being represented, as well as foreign countries, I think it speaks volumes to the passion and dedication people have towards the Saints and we certainly appreciate their support."

With season ticket renewals being processed at a brisk pace, Stanfield and his staff in the ticket department are also seemingly always adding new accounts to the team's waiting list, some of which also are coming in from less-than-traditional locales. The closest season ticket holder account to the Superdome belongs to attorney Paul Politz, whose mailing address on Poydras Street places him literally across the street from the Superdome's gate B entrance at the corner intersection of Poydras and LaSalle Street.

Having held season tickets for well over 10 seasons, the partner in the law firm of Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe said he and his family never miss opportunities to take in the Saints' home games.

"We are tried-and-true fans," Poltiz said of his law firm partners, as well as his own family. "It's traditional and ritual for us to go to the games and the games are something we look forward to each week during the season."

Politz, at times, is forced to put his litigation specialist's skills to good use during the season when determining which fortunate family members or business colleagues will accompany him to the games. The Napoleonville, La. native stated that the running argument at not only his law firm, but also in his own home, is who will be attending the games during the season. "There are quite a few people who make compelling arguments and try to stake their claim to the seats each week," Politz good naturedly said.

Some 5,035 miles away in the central German town of Gottingen, Saints season ticket holder Dennis Busse eagerly awaits the announcement of the team's schedule each season come April so that he may start preparing for his annual treks to watch his favorite team play in person. While his problems differ quite a bit from Politz's in terms of who he will be attending the games with, his enthusiasm rivals that of fellow Saints fans.

Yet another fan who makes a considerable journey a few times each season is Ryan Postic, an artist who hails from the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The nearly 2,000 one-way journey isn't enough to deter Postic from taking in Saints games each season, though, despite the lack of direct flights between each city.

Postic, 31, became a fan of the team while watching the Saints' playoff game on January 3, 1993 against the Philadelphia Eagles and has never looked back since. "It was a different time without the NFL Sunday Ticket Package. Back then it was very unusual to be able to watch an NFL game in Canada," Postic said. "But I turned on that game because it was being broadcast on a network station and I was just drawn to the Saints. I've followed them ever since then and in 2005 during Katrina, I felt I needed to do something to support the team, and really, the city."

Postic said that he was aware of the displaced citizens from New Orleans and wanted to do his part to ensure the future of the team in New Orleans and quickly signed up for a season ticket account. "My heart just broke watching what the city went through and I felt a calling to help out in any small way I could. I was a student at the time and with work and my schedule, I couldn't come down and volunteer like I wanted to, but I knew I wanted to help in some way or fashion. So I made the decision then that I would support the Saints financially and haven't regretted the decision for one second. I'm proud to tell people all the time about what I did."

Each season since 2006 Postic has arranged for two or three trips to New Orleans to take in the Saints game, preferring, he said Monday Night games or Sunday Night prime-time games. "The games are all exciting, but there is just something I love about being in the French Quarter before and after the games and being around all of the excitement," he said. "I also try to make it for either a big divisional game or a really big game against a team with a marquee player. But I love the night games because, to me, there is just an amazing aura and feel to the games."

Fate, Postic believes, has drawn him to rooting for the Black-and-Gold. "For starters, my mother was born on November 1st, which of course, is All Saints Day," he said. "And there's just something about the team that draws me closer and closer to it each year. It has become something in my life that is really, really important. Every single day I am checking to see what news the team is making and I just want to be in the loop with everything that is happening."

Postic, an ardent sports fan who closely follows the Canadian national pastime of professional hockey and also the Canadian Football League, said one of the highlights of his "fandom" came when he attended the Saints' 2007 divisional playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles at the 'Dome. "That was a very memorable experience and something I'll never forget," he said. "That's what it's all about. I'm anxious for us to get back to a game like that and believe we will."

Postic has used his visits to New Orleans and his passion for the Saints help inspire to him in his livelihood. He has also used the inspiration to create artistic works inspired by his trips to The Big Easy.

"Every trip I make to New Orleans seemingly ignites my passion for the city and the people that I have met there," he said. "It's a really unique place, as we all know, that draws me in every time I visit."

In addition, with scores of military personnel scattered across the world protecting our nation's freedom, Saints fans currently serving in uniform also proudly represent the "Who Dat Nation" around the globe. The vast majority of military personnel that are season ticket holders have state-side addresses, thus tracking their current stations of deployment a bit of a mystery.

Other interesting home-bases for Saints season ticket holders include the sea-side city of Sitka, Alaska to the west and as far east as the Canadian city of St. John's, Newfoundland. Six different season ticket holding accounts that hail from the furthest point south among Saints season ticket holders in the United States call Miami home, as well as numerous accounts from across "Alligator Alley" on the west coast of Florida in Naples.

Busse, who is nearing graduation with a degree in social economics from a German university, was drawn to the Saints in 2004 while watching a game in his native land. "The crowd in the Superdome was amazing, and I liked the black and gold colors," Busse said. "During the game they showed some crazy fans with funny costumes. I was watching the game with a friend of mine, and we were absolutely sure that we have to go to a Saints game in New Orleans some day."

Busse enjoys talking to his fellow fans during his visits to New Orleans, particularly when they ask him where he is from. "I talk to people in New Orleans and they can't believe that I'm from Germany and have a season ticket. They said 'that is crazy!' Of course they are right, but to be an owner of a season ticket is very important to me. Owning a season ticket gives me a feeling of be a part of the Saints."

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