Statement on The Passing of Pelicans Owner Tom Benson

New Orleans Saints, Pelicans Owner Tom Benson Dies at the Age of 90

After weeks of hospitalization with a case of the flu New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson's battle has finally ended. "We extend our sincerest sympathies to his wife, Gayle, his family, and our counterparts with the New Orleans Pelicans". Tom kept the Saints together through the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, and his decision to bring the team back to New Orleans gave the entire region hope and confidence they would recover.

May 20, 2012 - Dennis Lauscha, an employee for over 20 years, is promoted by Mr. Benson to Team President.

Benson was declared competent in court, but there was more legal wrangling over nonvoting shares of the teams that were held in trusts for the LeBlancs.

Per Benson's will, his wife Gayle now takes over as owner of the teams. And for New Orleans and for the saints in the pelican was never stronger than it was right here at the very end.

The NFL community lost a great leader with Tom Benson's passing.

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With a 33-24 win over Green Bay, the Saints close out the regular season at 12-3, the franchise's first winning record, and would go on to play in their first playoff game the following week. Benson, a successful auto dealer who brought the New Orleans Saints their only winning seasons and the "Benson Boogie", has died.

"I will forever be indebted to Mr. Tom Benson for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a member of the Saints organization and the New Orleans community", Brees wrote, captioning a photo of himself holding up a Saints jersey with Benson.

The Pelicans have made only one playoff appearance (2015) during Benson's ownership tenure. Benson said in a March 2016 deposition. He was a dear friend to me and so many others in the sports world, and the loss of his authentic and unique presence will leave an enormous void. The settlement, the terms of which were not disclosed, also included vehicle dealerships, real estate and New Orleans TV station WVUE-FOX 8 that Benson also owned.

There has been a lot of friction over what would happen to the franchises when Benson died.

In 2014, Benson pledged two significant gifts totaling $11 million to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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