The New Orleans Saints says fans will not be allowed inside the Superdome for their home opener.
"Our first priority is the health and safety of our fans, our employees, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome staff and all of the coaches and players," the team said in a release Wednesday.
This summer the NFL laid out guidelines for teams that would allow for fans in a limited capacity. This week the Saints met with its health and safety board, Governor John Bel Edwards , and New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell before ultimately deciding it was unsafe to host fans in the team's September 13th opener against the Buccaneers.
"Unfortunately, at this time, the trends across our state and region do not meet the standards of health and safety we have established with our healthcare and government partners to host fans in the stadium for the first home game," the team said. "While state numbers are trending in the right direction, further mitigation of cases is needed and a reduced infection rate is required for the team to welcome back their fans."
The team added that it is currently unlikely that the team will be able to host fans at its September 27th home game against the Packers. Its third home game isn't until October 12th.
"While we have put together a comprehensive plan that will allow us to safely host fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, that plan has always been dependent on how effectively we, as a community and region, are battling Covid-19," said Saints President Dennis Lauscha.. "We have given this situation as much time as possible to see the type of improvement necessary to welcome fans into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but unfortunately, medical experts indicate that trends are not improving rapidly enough for us to begin the season with fan attendance."
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