SPECIAL REPORT – Saints won’t train in Mississippi

Published 10:35 pm Monday, March 30, 2009

The new Orleans Saints won’t return to Millsaps College this summer for training camp.

The Saints moved training camp from their training facility in Metairie to Millsaps College in Jackson in 2006, then returned to Jackson in ’07 and last year.

Today the Saints announced they’ll stay in Metairie this summer to train for the 2009 season. Training camp will start on July 29 or 30, the team announced in a news release.

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“We, as an organization, look forward to holding training camp in our-state-of-the-art training facility,” said Saints owner Tom Benson in the release. “The fans in New Orleans and in our entire region from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles and from Biloxi to Pensacola will have the ability to come out and watch our team get ready for what will be a very exciting season. We are committed to our region and although Millsaps College was a great partner, we remain committed to doing our part to strengthen our state, our city and I believe this is another step in that direction.”

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis thanked Millsaps for its hospitality in the news release.

“We first want to thank the people at Millsaps as well as our fans in Mississippi and Jackson, we had a first rate experience there,” Loomis said. “Millsaps proved to be a great location and we couldn’t have been treated any better. The dynamics and economics have shifted a bit and we have decided that holding training camp at our facility would provide us with enough quality fields to work on, an indoor practice facility in the case of inclement weather as well as access to the technology we have available at our headquarters in Metairie.”

Millsaps officials could not be immediately reached for comment, but the Saints news release included a statement from Frances Lucas, the Millsaps president.

“Millsaps College and the Saints have established an exciting partnership in the past three years,” Lucas said in the statement. “We’re delighted that our working relationship remains strong, mutually affectionate, and professionally beneficial. We look forward to their return.”