"Ultimately, while that is a difficult decision to have to make, it is made with the number one goal of health and safety of our community and region." - Dennis Lauscha, New Orleans Saints President
Saints fans will not hear the deafening noise of the Who Dat Nation inside the Superdome September 13th for the team’s first game of the 2020 season. The New Orleans Saints organization announced Wednesday that the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be played without fans in the stadium. The decision comes after team officials met with health and safety experts, along with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell, to discuss a comprehensive health and safety plan that would allow fans to attend Saints home games.
“We have given this situation as much time as possible to see the type of improvement necessary to welcome fans into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but unfortunately, medical experts indicate that trends are not improving rapidly enough for us to begin the season with fan attendance. As we have noted, while we are not allowing fans in the first home game, we remain cautiously optimistic that fans may be able to attend our September 27 game vs. Green Bay, but stress that fans need to remain flexible and adaptable in case we cannot. We are keenly aware of the outstanding home field advantage that our fans provide our team, and we are as eager as anyone to welcome them back.”
- New Orleans Saints President Dennis Lauscha
Along with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, all associated publicly accessed areas at the venue will be closed to the public and fans on September 13th. The closures include parking garages, Champions Square, the Saints’ Hall of Fame, and the Saints Team Shop.
“There is nothing like seeing the Saints play in the Super Dome, and I know anticipation is high for the season kickoff. However, when it comes to hosting sporting events for the faithful fans from New Orleans and throughout Louisiana, it is paramount that we make wise decisions that are in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety. This is not easy for anyone, and I appreciate the care with which the team is undertaking this process. The Saints have been a great partner to the State of Louisiana, and I greatly appreciate their efforts to help all of us slow the spread of Covid-19”
-Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
It remains unclear if the fan hiatus continues into the later weeks of the 2020 NFL Season for the Saints. According to the team’s press release, it is “unlikely” fans will attend the Week 3 contest against the Packers. The release also asserts “whether fans can attend [the Saints third home game vs the Los Angeles Chargers], as well as others later in the season, will depend on the status of the trends listed above and the direction of local and state leaders.”
The Saints remain optimistic about having fans at the remaining games in the 2020 season and reiterate the team’s desire to welcome back as many fans to the home of the Saints as possible. The team remains confident once infection rates are lower, that our plan and protocols will create a safe environment for attending games.
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