Metropolitan Crime Commission chief says ticket offer "not illegal but is inappropriate"
The head of the Metropolitan Crime Commission says it's not illegal for Saints owner Tom Benson to offer state lawmakers a chance to buy Super Bowl tickets at face value, but it is inappropriate.
Rafael Goyeneche told 99.5FM Tuesday it's inappropriate because the Legislature has to approve the deals between the state and the Saints.
"In effect, he's attempting to influence the Legislature through this," Goyeneche said.
The metro crime commission chief says it's also inappropriate for Benson to offer tickets only to lawmakers and not to other groups.
"If he was trying to reward the people of Louisiana for backing the Saints, offer it to season ticket holders, offer it to police officers and first responders," Goyeneche said.
It's unclear how many members of the legislature took advantage of the opportunity, but the New Orleans Saints gave state lawmakers a chance to buy two tickets each to the Super Bowl.
The Advocate reports that the tickets were offered at face value which ranges from $850 to $1,250.
According to the newspaper, the offer was delivered via an email from the team which thanked lawmakers for their "support in securing Super Bowl XLVII."
One of those who has purchased tickets is House Speaker Chuck Kleckley of Lake Charles.
The newspaper says tickets also were bought by state Representative Walter Leger of New Orleans. Leger told The Advocate, "We paid face value for the tickets, and I was happy to be able to buy them."
Senator Francis Thompson said he allowed a constituent to buy his tickets. He told the paper he decided to watch the game at home because the seats were in "the nosebleed section."