It was a touching day in the Big Easy as Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson was honored with the unveiling of a new sculpture outside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
A press conference-type event was held that included short and sweet speeches by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Coach Sean Payton and New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond. Saints’ QB Drew Brees was also in attendance at today’s event.
It is an honorable piece of art done by sculptor Brian Hanlon of Mr. Benson hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. A NOLA native, Tom took over ownership of the Saints in 1985 after the team was reportedly going to relocate.
He decided to snatch up the Hornets (now the Pelicans), New Orleans’ NBA franchise, in 2012 after rumors of them being candidates to move from the Crescent City as well. Benson has done an unthinkable amount of good for a city that has gone through so much in such a little amount of time, and that’s what the guest speakers were trying to stress.
Mr. Benson was a bit choked up by the project that was quarterbacked by his wife, Gayle. That new bronze statue that sits in front of the Superdome as you walk up the stairs from Champions Square is not just about football. It’s about hope, it’s about strength, it’s about faith and it’s about bouncing back and being resilient.