After several days of negotiations and a maneuver exploring a temporary move to LSU’s Tiger Stadium, the New Orleans Saints reached an agreement with Mayor LaToya Cantrell to roll out a phased spectator policy for the remaining Saints home games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this year.
Cantrell’s office had been reluctant to give the Saints a green light to admit large crowds of fans to the Superdome amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but now they’ll get an opportunity to attempt doing that safely.
For starters, just 3,000 Saints season-ticket holders will be eligible for Sunday’s matchup with the Carolina Panthers. if all goes well, the plan is for that to scale up over the rest of the season. Here’s how the Saints outlined things in a statement:
Oct. 25 vs. Carolina Panthers: 3,000 fans
Nov. 15 vs. San Francisco 49ers: 6,000
Nov. 22 vs. Atlanta Falcons: 6,000
Dec. 20 vs. Kansas City Chiefs: 15,000
Dec. 25 vs. Minnesota Vikings: 15,000
Described as a “phased and deliberate pilot approach” in a statement from the team, this compromise will at least allow some members of the Who Dat Nation to make their voices heard inside the Superdome. It’s hardly the same as the 70,000-strong crowd typically packing the stands, but it’s a step up from the 750 or so family members of players, coaches, and staffers that previously gathered in New Orleans.
So: if the Saints can only bring in the loudest 3,000 Saints fans possible, who would you pick?