According to ESPN, an agreement in principle has been reached between the NFL and New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson that will have the team returning for practices for 2006. That will likely lead to them playing the whole season in NO.
...Under the accord, which is expected to be finalized soon, the Saints will return to their permanent practice facility in Metairie, La., just outside of New Orleans. The state-owned training complex was commandeered by FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and used as a staging area. Saints officials had previously contended that the facility was in disrepair, but the damage was not nearly as severe as originally indicated.
"[The talks] haven't always been amicable, and [Benson] still has some doubts about all of this, but it looks like they're going back [to Louisiana]," one owner advising the Saints said.
It is believed that, with the Saints in Metairie, the team will split its 2006 schedule between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Superdome in New Orleans has been projected to be ready for play in November, but officials hope repairs can be accelerated in coming months...