Saints to train near Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- An NFL team will be coming closer to Los Angeles sooner than expected, albeit for only one week.
The New Orleans Saints announced the team will practice Aug. 22-26 in Oxnard, Calif., leading up to their preseason game against the Raiders in Oakland on Aug. 28.

The Saints will stay and hold open practices at the Residence Inn at River Ridge, which was used as a training camp site for the Dallas Cowboys six of the past 10 years.

Saints coach Sean Payton was the assistant head coach of the Cowboys in 2004 and 2005, when the Cowboys practiced in Oxnard, and has thought about taking the Saints to California since the NFL lockout ended.

"I wanted to lengthen training camp," Payton told reporters after practice Tuesday in Metairie, La. "Logistically there were some issues here with our hotel in adding a week to training camp, more than we normally would have. With the trip to Oakland, we looked into a few different locations, but Oxnard was one that we spent some time with. When we were able to put the pieces together, we ran with it."

Oxnard is 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. On Tuesday, the L.A. city council unanimously passed the financial framework of a deal to build a football stadium, with hopes of attracting an NFL team back to the city for the first time since 1995.

Until then, serving as an ideal training camp location for a Super Bowl contender will have to suffice.

"When you get out to Oxnard, the weather is perfect from a standpoint of teaching and training," Payton said. "It gives us an additional week, and we're going to take advantage of it."

Arash Markazi is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com.