In Step With New Orleans’s Comeback (1 Viewer)

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Full Story – New York Times.Com


NEW ORLEANS — Tom Benson took his wife, Gayle, to Commander’s Palace last week, choosing that Garden District restaurant for dinner on the night when his basketball team was rebranded and a few days after his football team was reborn.

It seemed an apt choice for this moment in Benson’s life. Commander’s Palace was reinvented after a family feud, and when the Bensons left a little after 7 p.m., there was already a crowd waiting to get in, a history and popularity that seem to parallel Benson’s own recent tale.

Benson has made his fortune in automobile dealerships and Southern banks, two elbows-out enterprises that probably prepared him well for the very bad, very good, very bizarre year he just endured. His football team, the New Orleans Saints, was at war with the N.F.L. for much of 2012 in the wake of a league investigation into the existence of a bounty program, which led to the suspension of Coach Sean Payton for the regular season. Just weeks after the bounties were revealed, Benson agreed to buy New Orleans’s faltering basketball team, the Hornets, from the N.B.A.

By Judy Battista / New York Times

Full Story – New York Times.Com
 

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