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Saints fans aren't flocking to Seattle this weekend..


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New Orleans Saints fans aren't flocking to Seattle this weekend

Published: Monday, January 03, 2011, 11:45 PM

Brendan McCarthy, The Times-Picayune By Brendan McCarthy, The Times-Picayune

The possibilities opened late Sunday night, shortly after the New Orleans Saints playoff slate was set for Saturday in Seattle. Tickets, hotel rooms, airfare. What's available and at what price?

In countless homes across the Who Dat Nation, anxious Saints fans clicked on Web sites and crunched numbers in their heads, weighing whether to buy or not to buy. Would it be Seattle or bust?

By Monday afternoon, it appeared that a hearty portion of the Saints traveling fan crew would be staying home this weekend, watching the television and rooting for a chance to travel to a second-round Saints playoff game.

The game at Seattle's 67,000-seat Qwest Field was not yet sold out as of Monday afternoon, almost a full day after the game was announced. Tickets were still available directly through Ticketmaster, the Seahawks ticket outlet. Buyers could snare upper-level seats -- on the Seahawks' side of the field -- for less than $100, or opt for posh club-level confines behind the Saints' bench for $240 a pop.

At StubHub, a popular online ticket resale site, seats ranged from $77 to $772.

Washington area residents bought a majority of the tickets, at an 11:1 ratio compared with Louisiana buyers, according to Joellen Ferrer of StubHub.

At the Silver Cloud hotel, less than a football field away from the Seahawks' stadium, bookings jumped immediately after the Seahawks beat the Rams on Sunday night, thus securing the home playoff game against the Saints. Occupancy for the coming weekend went from about 20 percent to 70 percent, said front desk agent Blake Ambrose.

Ambrose said it was unclear how many were Saints fans heading to the game.

saints-fans.

"I had some people call this morning with heavy Southern accents," he noted.

When it comes to heading north by land, sea or air, Saints fans have limited options.

Driving from the Superdome to Qwest Field is an estimated 43-hour trip over 2,723 miles, with likely pit stops in Wichita, Denver, Salt Lake City and the wilds of northwest Oregon. And that haul is just one-way.

Meanwhile, a railroad expedition takes 3 1/2 days each way and costs more than most airline tickets.

There are other signs that the Who Dat nation may not be traveling en masse for this weekend's matchup.

A query on NOLA.com Monday morning prompted more than 15 Saints fans to write in about their ticket purchases and travel plans. All of the responses came from self-proclaimed Who Dats in the Pacific Northwest, including two from Canada.

The modest number of New Orleans area fans heading northwest likely owes to several factors, such as distance, airfare costs and a small window of preparation time, according to travel agents, ticket sellers and a handful of fans.

Another factor -- though less talked-about, because cockiness can come back to haunt the overconfident -- is that the Saints are heavily favored and are expected to handle the Seahawks, who have the worst record of any playoff team in NFL history.

Several fans suggested Monday that money may be better spent on a higher-stakes playoff game in Atlanta or Chicago, two possible destinations.

Even a ticket resale representative touched on the obvious.

"My guess is that few Saints fans will make the trek to Seattle, given the distance and their assumption that the Saints will easily get past the 7-9 Seahawks," Ferrer of StubHub said in an e-mail message. "Should this become a reality, I would expect more black and gold to head to either Atlanta or Chicago."

Representatives from several local travel agencies reported fielding no calls Monday for Seattle area travel.

Amy McGee, of Travel Leaders in New Orleans, said late Monday afternoon she had yet to receive a single inquiry on Seattle area travel for this weekend's game. Rochelle Snyder, manager at World Tours and Travel, also reported no inquiries. Wealthy fans will still travel to the game, but others appear to be taking a pass, she said.

Destination Management Inc., the official travel company of the Saints, is not offering vacation packages for the playoff game.

"We will be doing it for the later game, though," employee Carol Bee said with a clear whiff of confidence in her local team.

So there will be travel packages for Saints fans in the second round of the playoffs?

"Absolutely," Bee said. "We know it will happen."

Brendan McCarthy can be reached at bmccarthy@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3301.

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I would imagine that the lack of Saints' fans travel for this game has pretty much everything to do with distance and cost...short week, long flight, or any other form of travel, and not being able to afford to make the trip money-wise...as far as being confident in winning, by all rights, the Saints should win this game, but I doubt that that well-deserved confidence in itself would be the reason for any fans to stay away...

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why spend that money when next week they will have bigger fish to fry and could use the money for that game...as long as they dont drop the ball ;)

Yea I thought about making the trip. My brother n law lives about an hour away from the stadium. I just can't spend the money knowing the game may b over early. And if by a miracle Seattle wins, that trip home will b miserable.

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Yea I thought about making the trip. My brother n law lives about an hour away from the stadium. I just can't spend the money knowing the game may b over early. And if by a miracle Seattle wins, that trip home will b miserable.

I Wonder how many Aints fans bought Falcons Playoff tickets when they went on sale 3 weeks ago knowing the chances were good they would be back in the playoffs?????

those that didnt

good luck getting a Ticket for less than 4 digits

I can Promise you there will not be any Cheap Seats available 4 days before the game like there are in Sea

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good luck getting a Ticket for less than 4 digits

You are nuts if you believe that. Easy to get Atlanta tickets. ****, you can buy first round for $115 per ticket right now and $199 for NfC Champ game. That is very cheap for playoff games. I know the price will go up some closer to the game, but never reach that high.

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Guest jb aka johnnybuc

I'm sorry but I totaly understand. I remember back in '99 & '02 I didn't even think about traveling to a playoff game because I wanted to make sure I had the money for my super bowl trip. Boy I was glad I did too!

I can see why it's not sold out. Have you seen the Seahags this season? They suck AND blow at the same time!

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I'm sorry but I totaly understand. I remember back in '99 & '02 I didn't even think about traveling to a playoff game because I wanted to make sure I had the money for my super bowl trip. Boy I was glad I did too!

I can see why it's not sold out. Have you seen the Seahags this season? They suck AND blow at the same time!

IT JUST DON'T SEEM RIGHT, THAT AN

11-5 TEAM HAS TO GO THERE IN THE

FIRST PLACE.

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Guest jb aka johnnybuc

IT JUST DON'T SEEM RIGHT, THAT AN

11-5 TEAM HAS TO GO THERE IN THE

FIRST PLACE.

I totally agree! If you're gonna put such a pathetic team in the playoffs at LEAST make them travel to the team with the better record!

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Who's whinning?

I don't think it matters anyway, all ya'll have to do is take care of buisness and then you get to come an play a real team. I mean, would you rather have to play say the packers at your place or the seahawks at theres. I'd take the hawks all day on that one. Just sucks for the fans really.

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I don't think it matters anyway, all ya'll have to do is take care of buisness and then you get to come an play a real team. I mean, would you rather have to play say the packers at your place or the seahawks at theres. I'd take the hawks all day on that one. Just sucks for the fans really.

after this JV warm up, i dont mind going to ATL to cook some Durty Bird! :D

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You are nuts if you believe that. Easy to get Atlanta tickets. ****, you can buy first round for $115 per ticket right now and $199 for NfC Champ game. That is very cheap for playoff games. I know the price will go up some closer to the game, but never reach that high.

You must be talking about people or sites re-selling tickets. The Falcons first round play-off game sold-out in 9 minutes. The second round have yet to go on sale.

Also, on Stubhub some of the lower level tickets are going for a grand, so you're wrong on both counts.

http://tickets.atlantafalcons.com/ticket-central/

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You must be talking about people or sites re-selling tickets. The Falcons first round play-off game sold-out in 9 minutes. The second round have yet to go on sale.

Also, on Stubhub some of the lower level tickets are going for a grand, so you're wrong on both counts.

http://tickets.atlantafalcons.com/ticket-central/

I Wonder how many Aints fans bought Falcons Playoff tickets when they went on sale 3 weeks ago knowing the chances were good they would be back in the playoffs?????

those that didnt

good luck getting a Ticket for less than 4 digits

I can Promise you there will not be any Cheap Seats available 4 days before the game like there are in Sea

Read dipsticks quote and get back to me. Also, I was talking about stubhub..etc Very low when I check yesterday when I posted.

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