Saints: COVID-19 Delta Variant Could Affect Superdome Attendance

Saints fans attendance at home games in the Superdome could be affected as new COVID-19 cases rise in New Orleans due to the Delta variant.
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The New Orleans Saints are a top draw for NFL fans and television broadcasters, especially when the Superdome welcomes football games. The attraction of the legendary structure and the fans attending live game action is vital to the economy in New Orleans.

New Orleans has one of the most loyal and passionate fanbases in all professional sports, but the coronavirus pandemic had a negative impact on the people and community.

COVID-19 hit the local businesses, government, citizens, and professional teams very hard in 2020.

It is essential for everyone to re-establish a sense of normalcy and fully attend New Orleans Saints contests this fall.

Saints Fans Vaccinated for 2021

MASK ADVISORY IN NEW ORLEANS

The COVID-19 Delta variant has other ideas. New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, in a press conference, stressed the need for citizens and visitors to wear protective covering inside of buildings.

Suppose the upward trend of new cases continues. In that case, I wonder if the New Orleans and Louisiana governments will choose stricter mandates - especially for the unvaccinated inhabitants of the city and state.

Livingston Parish government officials announced today plans to shut down until Aug. 2 to gain control of the COVID-19 cases affecting their offices.

If a smaller governmental body has been affected, what could happen to a major city like New Orleans?

On Friday, July 22, Gov. John Bel Edwards addressed the rise in new COVID-19 cases in Louisiana.  The state experienced the third-highest new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Joseph Kanter spoke on the statistics of people who contracted the virus, saying 93% of COVID-19 cases were reported over last week, 90% of people currently in hospital with COVID, 91% of COVID deaths over last week are among people who are not fully vaccinated.

CONTINGENCY PLANS?

So, how will this affect the NFL and Saints football? It's unknown what contingency plans do the Saints organization and Superdome currently have in place to address the Delta variant.

Fans are demanding to see the team after 2020's COVID-19 protocols prevented a majority of ticket holders from being inside of NFL team stadiums for live game action.

The NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams executives, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

"NFL just informed clubs that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will FORFEIT and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding, per sources."  Tom Pelissero

Players, fans, and football administrators are expressing concern about how rapidly the Delta variant strain of COVID-19 is moving across the United States.

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FAN ATTENDANCE IN SUPERDOME?

As the regular season draws near, fans are anxious for live-action and attend the team's open training camp practices beginning July 30.

  1. Could the surge of the Delta+ COVID-19 variant and new cases in New Orleans halt attendance at the Ochsner Performance Center and Superdome?  
  2. Also, how will the Saints' regular-season home games be affected? 
  3. Could vaccinated fans be granted exemptions and attend home games?

The next few weeks will provide the answers. Expect all 32 NFL clubs and NFLPA to address the rise in new COVID-19 cases before, during, and after training camp.

New Orleans' first preseason game will host Jacksonville in the Superdome on Aug. 23. at 7 PM CT.

The New Orleans Saints franchise took a substantial financial hit without fans attending many home games in 2020. 

The Saints News Network will monitor the COVID-19 health concerns and ticket prices over the next several weeks before the new season begins on Sept. 12 against the Green Bay Packers.


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