It sounds like the New Orleans Saints may get their way after all. The team was upset at local ordinances put forth by Mayor LaToya Cantrell, that did not allow the team to host fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
New Orleans was one of the cities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic early on. Given the ongoing spread around the country, it makes sense for any city that wants to avoid large gatherings like those at NFL games, even with limited attendance. However, with the ordinance in place, the team contacted LSU about playing games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge with fans.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the city of New Orleans has acquiesced to the Saints a bit, and will start to allow for fans on a very limited basis. Schefter says that 3,000 fans will be permitted at this weekend’s home game against the Carolina Panthers. Assuming all goes well, that capacity could double for the November games against the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons.
3,000 or 6,000 fans is below what many other pro teams have allowed so far this year, though some local governments still aren’t allowing anyone at games. The Superdome has a listed capacity off 74,295, so it should be easy to spread everyone out, at the very least, with that few fans in attendance.
Saints’ season-ticket holders will have access to 3,000 tickets for the October 25th Carolina home game. Barring any change in local health and safety guidelines, capacity will increase to 6,000 fans for both the November 15th San Francisco and November 22nd Atlanta home games. https://t.co/wpBGn0Y9Gn
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2020
The New Orleans Saints are 2-1 at home so far this season, with wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers, and a loss to the Green Bay Packers. The team is 3-2 overall, and coming off of its bye week.
After the Panthers game this weekend, the team hits the road for two weeks, with games at the Chicago Bears and Bucs. That gives the city and the franchise a good deal of time to see the impact of the game.
Later in the season, the Saints are tabbed to host two December home games, against the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings.