As one of the area's top businessmen, New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson has recognized since taking over the team in 1985 that the club has a key role in supporting the local economy in addition to being a source of civic pride and common rallying point. The economic impact of the club includes total spending, total income, total employment and total state and local tax revenues due to operations of the Saints in the State of Louisiana. The fiscal impact of the Saints is as follows:
● The total economic impact of the LSED as a whole in 2008 – including the Saints, the Hornets, the Sugar Bowl and BCS Championship, the Essence Festival, NBA All-Star Week and other events – was over $1.5 billion. The LSED helped generate and support 21,910 full- and part-time jobs, and created $71.6 million in state taxes. The fiscal impact of the Saints alone in that 2008 total was $552.5 million, with $22.1 million in state taxes and 3,968 jobs created.
● Spending impact of the New Orleans Saints on the local economy, as estimated in a study prepared by Dr. Timothy P. Ryan of the University of New Orleans, is made up of three components: the primary spending, the direct spending and the indirect spending. It also includes the purchases, insurance, utilities, capital expenditures by the team for facility upgrades and spending by visitors (fans, teams, media) due to Saints games. In 2002, according to Ryan's calculations, the Saints pumped $402.17 million of new dollars into the New Orleans and Louisiana economy, including $181.1 in direct spending.
● The estimated projected impact by the Saints for 2008 by Ryan was for $627.85 million – including $289.86 in direct spending. The state taxes on those totals would be nearly $30 million.
● The Super Bowl, of which Tom Benson is leading the campaign for New Orleans' bid to host the NFL's biggest game in 2013, is only played in the Superdome because of the existence of the club in the Crescent City. The economic windfall for Super Bowl host cities is estimated to be in excess of $300 million.
● There are 480 direct jobs and 4,206 other jobs supported in the local economy by the Saints and their operations in the New Orleans area, according to the reports prepared by Ryan, creating $161.97 million in earnings for Louisiana residents.
● The 25-year expected total in direct impact of the Saints on the state is $12.02 billion, according to Ryan's findings in his 2002 report. The total impact – direct and indirect – will be $26.04 billion. In state tax revenues, $1.23 billion is the projected total earnings.
● An impact of the Saints that cannot be quantified is the importance of the club to the city of New Orleans and its tourism community. The Saints appear on national and international television multiple times each season – including playing in London in 2008 in the NFL's International Series. The club took the trip largely based on promoting New Orleans to stimulate the region's economy on an international level, and it included events with government officials and corporate sponsors as part of an economic exchange. Throughout the 2008 season, games were covered globally from the Superdome leading into the contest in London. On a weekly basis, when networks cover a game, it is free advertising for the state, coverage that includes compelling shots from the French Quarter and other Louisiana landmarks.
● The New Orleans Saints are not only a source of pride for New Orleans and Louisiana residents, but a significant part of the local and regional economy.
Though not judged in wins and losses on the field, this is among the most rewarding endeavors of the New Orleans Saints during Tom Benson's tenure as Owner. The Saints have been a fixture in the community over the last 25 years, and annually donate over $5 million in cash, goods and services.
● Over 50,000 young people are reached each year through the Saints Youth Programs initiatives.
● In addition to funding the LHSAA Game of the Week statewide, the Saints conducted the "Saints Experience" of youth activities and interactive exercises at each site, including traveling to Alexandria, Haynesville, Monroe and Lake Charles.
● The Saints are underwriting the Youth Leadership Council's 12-week concert series in downtown New Orleans at Lafayette Square.
● Over 650 coaches, athletic directors, instructors and playground managers receive training yearly from Saints staff at the club's Metairie training facility.
● During the summer months, the Saints team with the United Way of Greater New Orleans for 15 free life skills and youth football clinics.
● Members of the front office worked with the New Orleans Sports Foundation during the campaign to bid and receive the Men's and Women's Final Four Basketball Championships
● The New Orleans Saints Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund – established immediately after the storm – raised over $1 million in aid, which was distributed to charities across the region.
● Since 2006, the club has distributed over $1.5 million to high school and youth football organizations.
● Over 5,000 charities, schools, churches , festivals and foundations receive individual donations from the Saints annually.
● The club was a major contributor to the restoration of Pan American Stadium in New Orleans, and will soon announce a similar project for renovating Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park.
● A multitude of Saints players have their own charitable foundations, working in conjunction with the club in making hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations across the region, in addition to visiting schools, hospitals and organizations as ambassadors of goodwill.
SUPER BOWL IMPACT
New Orleans has hosted nine Super Bowls, annually the biggest event in sports. Tom Benson, one of the most valued and trusted figures in the league as the Chairman of the NFL Finance Committee, has served as the city's strongest advocate. During his tenure as owner, the city has hosted four Super Bowls, with Benson being the driving force in New Orleans' campaign to host the NFL's signature game.
● Benson is currently working in an aggressive posture to help the city land the 2013 Super Bowl, an extremely competitive, demanding process in league circles with no factor holding more importance than the efforts of the ownership of the NFL team in the potential city.
● Each Super Bowl has been an economic windfall for the host city, and there are also benefits that can't be measured. While the game attracts thousands of corporate visitors and thousands of affluent fans for the week before the game, there is also a tremendous amount of national and international media attention. The week of coverage – with reporters at different sites on camera in the city, as well as New Orleans datelines attached to each print story – brings a remarkable amount of exposure.
● Reported projections for recent Super Bowls – such as Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, Arizona – on local economies have been as high as over $400 million. According to reports, estimates from Super Bowl XLI in Miami were that there was $280 million directly spent by 112,000 visitors during the week that preceded the Feb. 4, 2007 game at Dolphin Stadium, and $183 million in indirect spending.
● The Super Bowl has attracted more than 40 percent of U.S. TV households each year since 1990, according to Nielsen Co. NBC's broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII averaged 95.4 million viewers, ranking second in television history viewership behind the 2008 game which had 97.4 million viewers.