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New Orleans Saints History: Tom Benson Becomes Owner

On this day in Saints history, May 31st, 1985...

Dustin Bradford

Despite Tom Benson nearly moving the New Orleans Saints franchise to San Antonio in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it was actually he who helped save the franchise from a similar move in the mid-80s.

That's right, Tom Benson helped keep the Saints in New Orleans by purchasing the team from John Mecom in 1985. Jacksonville was a possible location for the franchise under the Mecom ownership. There was a public flirtation before Benson stepped up and preserved the team in his hometown by purchasing the franchise for the sale price of $70.204 million.

On May 31st, 1985, ownership was officially transferred to Benson, who also became managing general partner of the Saints.