The New Orleans Saints wanted to host fans at 25 percent capacity for Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but Mayor LaToya Cantrell wouldn’t sign off on the idea, according to nola.com.
The Saints reportedly confirmed the news in an email to season-ticket holders Wednesday. Despite the request being denied for Monday’s game, the Saints remain optimistic fans will be allowed at the team’s next home game, which will take place Oct. 25.
In order for the Saints to host fans, both Cantrell and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards must approve. Edwards has already signed off on the order, but Cantrell “has held firm to her position on the grounds of not allowing anyone or any organization to have a special exemption from the current restrictions in place within Orleans Parish,” according to nola.com.
The team may eventually get its wish. The Saints were allowed to host roughly 750 family members during the team’s Week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers. The team plans to do that again in Week 5. Cantrell was optimistic about the early returns after Week 3, saying that test run “went off very well.” It’s possible Cantrell could come around on the team hosting more fans if the Saints’ family member experiment goes well in Week 5.
Roughly 18,500 fans would be allowed in the Superdome if the Saints get approval to host fans at 25 percent capacity.
Other NFL teams have allowed fans at games in 2020
The Saints’ denial comes as other teams are beginning to open their stadiums to fans. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania announced limited fans could attend sporting events, opening the door for the Pittsburgh Steelers to host 7,500 fans Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles are still in limbo until the city lifts restrictions, however.
The Miami Dolphins received approval to host fans at full capacity Wednesday, but the team intends to stick with its current setup, which allows for 13,000 fans.
Other teams — like the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs — have allowed a limited number of fans to attend home games in 2020.
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