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Saints Players that Invested Money in Film Studio Could Get Money Back by the End of the Year

Saints players and coaches who invested nearly $2 million in a television film studio in suburban Metairie could get their money back by the end of 2009, the developer said last week.

Wayne Read, the chief executive of Louisiana Film Studios, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he has pledged to pay back the money from the project. But at the same time, Read said the deal has not been completed yet because potential investors will make the repayments possible.

Former Saints long snapper Kevin Houser, who was released by the team last month, was the point man for getting 26 current and former players and coaches, including head coach Sean Payton, to invest in Read’s project. They were supposed to be repaid in the form of state tax credits by the end of March, but Read never applied for the credits.

Read said the new investors he’s trying to line up will take over the studio. He said the money he collected from the players and coaches went to pay for an option to buy the property, which he still hasn’t acquired, as well as other expenses for renting the studio, architectural planning and renovation.

“I hope to begin making payments to the players before the end of 2009,” he told the Times-Picayune. “Hopefully I will reach agreements with one of the potential funding groups shortly. Their investment will give me the funds needed to satisfy our debt and provide a firm foundation for the further development of the studio.”

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