Saints owner Gayle Benson donates $1M to Gulf Coast Renewal Fund

In the wake of Hurricane Ida wreaking havoc on New Orleans along with other areas of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson announced Monday she is donating $1 million to the Gulf Coast Renewal Fund.

Hurricane Ida hit the shore on Sunday and the Category 4 storm is considered one of the most powerful to hit the United States, according to The Associated Press. It has knocked out power to all of New Orleans and has been blamed for at least one death.

Ida hit on the same date as Hurricane Katrina did 16 years earlier.

The team, in addition to the donation, has been in contact with government leaders to offer help in any way possible.

Benson's full statement through the team can be read here:

"As South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast begin to assess the significant damage inflicted by Hurricane Ida, please know our prayers are with all of those who have suffered from the impacts of this historical storm. We have great faith in the resilience and strength of our community and look forward to doing everything in our power to help lead in the recovery.

"Most important, we as an organization want to do everything within our power to assist those who have been impacted by the storm and have activated our Gulf Coast Renewal Fund with Owner Gayle Benson making an initial donation of $1 million to support our community throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Those wishing to donate can do so by going to We will continue to be in close communication with governmental and community leaders to determine where aid and assistance can most effectively be directed. More details on the fund and other initiatives will be provided in the coming days.

"We know there is much work to be done to restore power and other infrastructure. We have been in touch with government leaders at every level to offer any assistance we can, including the use of any of our facilities - all of which have sustained only superficial damage. FEMA has accepted that offer and will be using portions of our Ochsner Sports Performance Center to stage their assistance efforts.

"Our team is safe and focused on preparing for, and winning, the first regular game against the Green Bay Packers. We look forward to returning to New Orleans to continue those preparations as soon as our government leaders say it is safe to do so. Fortunately, the Caesars Superdome received only minor damage and will be prepared to host games as soon as the city's infrastructure will allow. We greatly look forward to representing our city, state and region this season as we work together to restore our community. We know how much winning games can unite and inspire people in our region and we can't wait to take advantage of that responsibility and opportunity.

"Together, we will overcome this challenge the way we have so many times before and will be stronger as a result."

Due to the impending impact of Ida, the Saints' home preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday was canceled.

The Saints will be practicing in Dallas until at least Wednesday.

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