Sean Payton says Saints opening 2021 season at AT&T Stadium ‘very realistic’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The first game of the Jameis Winston era might kick off at a neutral site. With the New Orleans Saints evacuating to Dallas and practicing this week at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, it’s unclear when the Caesars Superdome will be available in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida — meaning the Saints must pursue other options for their Week 1 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

After quickly ruling out a possible relocation to Green Bay, Saints coach Sean Payton floated the idea of just staying in Dallas: “There’s a chance that game could be right here at AT&T Stadium.”

He pointed to the Saints’ strong base of support in keeping the Packers game from being a true neutral-site matchup, continuing: “We’ve got enough fans in this area and Houston and certainly from Louisiana, northern Louisiana that we think that would be something that’s very realistic.”

While the Cowboys themselves will be on the road in Week 1, NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Tuesday that a scheduling conflict could force the Saints to look elsewhere for their Week 1 game — she pointed out that a concert is scheduled at AT&T Stadium that same week, with the venue’s website listing a Los Bukis performance on Sept. 15. So we aren’t out of the woods yet.

Obviously Jerry Jones’ theme park would be no substitute for the Caesars Superdome, but it’s a workable solution for at least the first home game. The Saints schedule includes an early bye (Week 6) and four road trips in their first seven games. After that Sept. 12 Packers tilt, the Saints aren’t scheduled to host another home game until Oct. 3. Hopefully that’s enough time for power and running water to be restored throughout New Orleans. If not, the Saints should still have options.