BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana’s government would lease office space from the owner of the New Orleans Saints as part of a deal to keep the team in the state.

The plan was unanimously approved by the state Senate, and now heads back to the House, which already approved an earlier version.

Saints owner Tom Benson plans to buy and redevelop a vacant office complex and a vacant former mall next to the Louisiana Superdome. Under the deal devised by Gov. Bobby Jindal, the state agreed to rent office space in a deal to funnel money to the NFL team while limiting direct cash subsidies.

In exchange, Benson agreed to keep the Saints in New Orleans through 2025.

AP-ES-06-18-09 2045EDT

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