Analysis: Dixon did more than land Saints, push for Superdome (1 Viewer)


True Dat
VIP Contributor
Jan 8, 1998
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Walker, LA
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Dave Dixon had to do a lot of wheeling and dealing to secure
the New Orleans Saints franchise and get the Louisiana Superdome built. Along the
way, he also had to be a facilitator for desegregation of Louisiana football and New
Orleans restaurants.

Dixon, 84, is not a man who has trouble dreaming. Among his brain storms were the
United States Football League and World Championship Tennis.

But his visions with the greatest and lasting impact for Louisiana and the Gulf Coast are
the Superdome and the Saints.

According to his autobiography, "The Saints, The Superdome and the Scandal," those
dreams began when Tulane University dropped out of the Southeastern Conference in
the 1960s and de-emphasized sports. Dixon felt that much of the "competitive, joyous
spirit seemed to have been squeezed out of our community."

That's when he began to seriously consider getting an NFL team for the state's major
population and tourism center, New Orleans.

There were strong reasons for NFL consideration, Dixon writes, including New Orleans'
good winter weather, a great football tradition and 80,000-seat Tulane Stadium.

There also were problems, first and foremost being racial segregation laws and
practices still in place in Louisiana during the civil rights era.

The Sugar Bowl, Dixon writes, was willing to sacrifice its status as a major bowl rather
than invite teams with black players.

University of Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant put an end to that,
masterminding a deal for the SEC to send its champion to the game. But it wasn't until
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that the Sugar Bowl regained its place as a major bowl.

WWL - AM870 • FM105.3 | News Sports | OnDemand@1350 - Analysis: Dixon did more than land Saints, push for Superdome

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