There have been all sorts of (large) numbers floated about concerning the Louisiana economic impact of the Saints NFL franchise. What I want to know is, how much of that is on Louisiana, and how much of it is simply in Louisiana?

How much of that economic impact comes from Mississippi, Texas, or elsewhere; and how much of it is simply churned from within Louisiana, coming from other parts of the state ' Slidell, Lafayette, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, etc. ' to feed the New Orleans economy, with no net gain for the state?

First of all, if a significant portion of the Saints' income distracts entertainment revenues from other state venues, particularly from the arts and culture, then that hampers tourism across the state. And tourism, obviously, is a key industry for Louisiana.

Moreover, if those Saints revenues are helping to underwrite New Orleans' sales taxes by draining the sales taxes of other communities, then we are being doubly taxed: state income taxes help support the Saints, while our local sales taxes are reduced to help them again.

Finally, we really need an independent entity to look at the Saints economic impact in Louisiana. Nothing against Mr. Benson, the Saints, and the NFL, but it would be nice to have some external confirmation of the numbers that are being batted about.

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