New Orleans Saints Owner Gayle Benson Announces Initial $1M Donation to Hurricane Ida Recovery

by Joe Rutland
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New Orleans Saints team owner Gayle Benson has made an initial $1 million donation to efforts being made around Hurricane Ida recovery.

According to a tweet from ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter, the announcement was made on Monday afternoon. He wrote, “With Hurricane Ida battering the region, Saints’ owner Gayle Benson has made an initial $1 million donation towards the Gulf Coast Renewal Fund. Those wishing to also donate can do so at http://NewOrleansSaints.com/hurricaneida.”

Gayle Benson became the owner of both the NFL’s Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans after her husband Tom’s death in 2018. Tom Benson was the owner of the Saints from 1985 and Pelicans from 2012 until his death at 90 years old.

Hurricane Ida Forced Saints To Cancel NFL Preseason Game

Hurricane Ida did force the Saints to cancel an NFL exhibition game scheduled for last weekend. The Saints were going to play the Arizona Cardinals. The storm moved through there on Sunday, leaving an entire city dark and flooding areas in and around New Orleans.

The Saints are still in preseason mode, it’s scheduled to host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 2:25 p.m. Central time. Whether that game takes place in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome or possibly at AT&T Stadium in Texas is in the air.

Federal, state, and local officials are busy detailing damage after Hurricane Ida hit the city on Sunday night.

Team Also Went Through Difficult Season After Katrina Hit

Obviously, Saints fans and NFL fans remember going through the trials after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. The team did not reach the NFL postseason as the Saints finished with a 3-13 record. In addition, they never played a home game that season.

But there was quite a triumphant return to the Superdome on “Monday Night Football” in the 2006 season. On Sept. 24, 2006, the Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-3.

Quarterback Drew Brees played impressively that night. An amazing blocked punt from Steve Gleason led to the team’s first touchdown and sent the fans into a frenzy. The Saints opened that season with two road games but started out 3-0 that season.

The Saints won the NFC West title that season and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. The Chicago Bears, though, ended the team’s Super Bowl hopes with a 39-14 victory.

Hurricane Ida has put many of the city’s citizens in situations comparable or different from the aftermath of Katrina. One major change that happened was to New Orleans’ levee system. It was rebuilt after failing when Katrina hit. But it appears that the system held intact when Ida roared through the Bayou City.

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