Saints Return to Superdome with Big Win

Football returns to the Superdome in New Orleans as the NFL's Saints post a 23-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The event featured former President Bush for the coin flip and musical performances by U2 and Green Day.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Last night, all the battles over the future of New Orleans faded, if only for a moment, into the background.

(Soundbite of cheering and music)

INSKEEP: The New Orleans Saints came home to the Superdome for the first time since city residents rode out Hurricane Katrina one year ago. New Orleans natives Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint sang the National Anthem. Former President George H. W. Bush oversaw the coin toss.

(Soundbite of song "House of The Rising Sun")

Billy Joe Armstrong (Singer, Green Day): (Singing) There is a house in New Orleans they call the Superdome.

(Soundbite of cheering)

INSKEEP: U2 and Green Day rocked a packed stadium. Offices, schools, even city hall closed early to allow fans to attend. And in the end, the crowd of over 68,000 must have made a difference.

Unidentified Man (Announcer): Saints win 23 to three. It was a win for the Saints on the scoreboard, and a huge even bigger win for this city.

INSKEEP: New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees said it was a night he will never forget.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: You're listening to NPR News.

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Yes, the Superdome Is Ready for Some Football

The New Orleans Saints play their first home game since Hurricane Katrina, when levee breaks flooded the city last year and desperate people used the Superdome as a shelter.

The Superdome was badly damaged by Katrina's winds, and it became a foul way-station for tens of thousands of evacuees.

But now it is full of cheering football fans again, as Monday Night Football broadcasts the Saints' game against the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams are 2-0.

Residents say they hope it's a sign that their city's life returning to normal. And they're backing that hope up: Tickets for home games this season are sold out.

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