Outside The Lines
On Monday the Saints will be marching in. A place that once hosted numerous thrilling Super Bowls and NCAA Championships served temporarily as a refuge for the homeless, symbolizing the suffering of Hurricane Katrina just over a year ago.
However, $185 million later, the Superdome is ready for the return of the Saints, nearly three months ahead of schedule. OTL First Report (ESPN 3 p.m. ET) takes a look at how 850 workers brought the Superdome back from the brink of extinction making it a symbol of hope for a city that desperately needs it.
I have conflicting opinions about the dome. It's important to the city of New Orleans that visitors return, bringing much needed tourism money. It's also importantly symbolically, that residents of the city see that there is work being done and they have not been forgotten. And, perhaps most importantly, the Saints of New Orleans are an important part of the city and New Orleanians love them. Football is good for the team, the town and the whole area.
The other side of the coin, of course, is that perhaps there is a better immediate use for the $185 million that went in to the reconstruction. If I were living in the conditions many local residents are, with trash piled up for more than a year on my street, for example, I would have to wonder why the money was not spent on trash trucks instead of porcelain tile for luxury skyboxes.
And one last question. The folks in charge of fixing the dome were able to do it on budget and ahead of schedule? So why don't we put them in charge of fixing the rest of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast?