Mr. Dixon promoted exhibition games in 1962 and 1963 to demonstrate New Orleans' base of support. The first game was played at City Park Stadium, which had limited seating. The second date, the doubleheader, played at Tulane, drew more than 75,000 spectators.
"To show how naive I was," Mr. Dixon said, "how foolishly optimistic, in 1962, we passed out season ticket pledge forms for 1963. I still have about 50 of the pencils passed out, with the inscription 'New Orleans Saints, 1963.' "
Influential politicians, including House Majority Whip Hale Boggs and U.S. Senator Russell Long, helped Mr. Dixon bring professional football to New Orleans when the sport faced a serious anti-trust legislation. Boggs and Long steered an antitrust exception through Congress, which, in effect, cleared the way for a merger of the National Football League and the American Football League.
The reward for the legislative end run was a New Orleans franchise, awarded on All Saints Day 1966. LINK
This post was edited on 10/10 at 8:35 am