The New Orleans Saints might have a new venue for home games soon.
After New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell repeatedly declined the Saints requests to allow a reduced number of fans into the Superdome for their home games, the Saints met with LSU officials to explore the idea of playing home games at the college venue, where fans are currently allowed in.
"We can confirm that our game operations staff is meeting with LSU officials today to discuss potentially hosting future Saints home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge," Saints VP of communications Greg Bensel said in a statement via NFL Network. "LSU has been gracious and enthusiastic regarding hosting our future games and we very much appreciate their partnership. We have also discussed the possibility of moving our home games to LSU with the NFL and they are aware of our exploring this option. Obviously, our overwhelming preference is to play our games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with partial fan attendance but there has been no indication from the city on when, or if, this might be approved."
NFL teams have to abide by state and local regulations when it comes to allowing fans into home games, and Cantrell hasn't budged on her stance of no Saints fans in the dome.
Cantrell's office released the following statement, which addressed the Saints desire to play their home games at LSU:
"While the Saints' request for a special exception to the city's COVID-19 guidelines remains under consideration, allowing 20K people in an indoor space presents significant public health concerns. At present, no NFL stadium in the country with a fixed-roof facility is allowing such an exception. We will continue to monitor the public health data, but cannot set an artificial timeline for how and when conditions may allow for the kind of special exemption being requested."
New Orleans is scheduled to play five more home games this season, starting with their game against the Panthers on October 25. The Saints would likely need to figure out plans for playing games in Baton Rouge by then.
The Saints last played in Baton Rouge in 2005 after being forced to evacuate New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina.
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