The Saints want to have more fans present for home games at the Superdome. The New Orleans mayor has yet to allow it.
In supporting her position, Mayor LaToya Cantrell makes an inaccurate claim regarding other NFL venues.
“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,” Cantrell said on Twitter. “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.”
However, the Cowboys have a fixed-roof facility, and they’ve hosted more than 20,000 fans for each of their three home games. The Falcons, Texans, and Colts also have had fans present despite playing in domed stadiums. Although each facility has a retractable roof, an open-air configuration was not mandated for any of the venues.
Besides, all NFL stadiums with fixed or retractable roofs have state-of-the-art ventilation systems aimed at handling aerosol terrorist attacks. These buildings are, for all intents and purposes, open-air structures.
Some believe that the Saints are exploring the possibility of playing home games in Baton Rouge to leverage New Orleans into allowing them to have fans at the Superdome. The reality, however, is that the Saints are under a ton of pressure from fans, sponsors, and partners to get more people at games. If that can’t happen in the Superdome, the Saints have no choice but to explore their options.