On November 1, 1966, the National Football League (NFL) granted the city of New Orleans an expansion franchise as a result of a combination of local activism (led most prominently by David Dixon and by members of the local media, such as New Orleans States-Item sports editor Crozet Duplantier).
And political force (Senator Russell Long and Congressman Hale Boggs, who made approval of the NFL-AFL merger conditional on the awarding of a franchise to New Orleans).
The six individuals who placed bids for the franchise were William G. Helis Jr., Herman Lay, John W. Mecom Jr., Louis J. Roussel Jr., and Jack Sanders. Edgar B. Stern Jr. also placed a bid.
On December 15, oilman Mecom became the majority shareholder and consequently president of the organization with his winning bid of $8.5 million; later that month, Tom Fears was chosen, as head coach.
Why is New Orleans Football team called the Saints?
The fact that the team was founded on November 1, which is All Saints Day in the Roman Catholic Church led to it being given the name “Saints.” This was an appropriate moniker for a team playing in the predominantly Catholic New Orleans area. On January 9, 1967, the name was revealed to the public.
Tulane Stadium, the team’s first home field, had a capacity of more than 80,000 spectators when it first opened.