NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans Saints' head coach Payton says if it means having a home crowd, he is ready to move the next game to Tiger Stadium.
And while some fans agree, the Superdome has put in place protocols, which it believes could allow home games to be played there in a safe environment.
When it comes to home-field advantage, many say the New Orleans Superdome provides one of the best. As the New Orleans Saints look at relocating home games to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge due to the mayor’s COVID restrictions, the coach says he’s all for it.
“You’ll be playing outside in a great environment. There’s a big difference we play with no fans and played out there were 25,000 of our own fans,” Payton said.
But Superdome officials say they have put together a 1,000-page plan called venue shield and instituted changes designed to make the Superdome COVID-19 safe.
“We had to follow CDC guidelines and the NFL had to certify us,” said Mike Hoss, with Superdome communications department.
The Superdome management company ASM Global drew on experiences at its other facilities around the world. Aside from cleaning and sanitizing protocols, dome officials say they’ve improved the dome’s air filtration system and opened up previously sealed vents to allow in more outside air.
“They have been uncovered which would allow for 30 percent more fresh air,” Hoss said.
It’s not like the Superdome doesn’t have any experience hosting big events in the age of COVID. They have had two home games with 750 people in attendance each time. “We have had two games here with friends and family which were designed as a test for entry and temperature screenings and secondary screenings,” Hoss said.
So far, the city has resisted opening the dome as negotiations continue to possibly move games to Baton Rouge.
“I would totally welcome that. I went to LSU and it’s fun,” said Saints fan, Darren Martel.
And while many say they miss the Dome field advantage; they are not sure it’s time to return to an indoor stadium.
“I believe the doctors and scientists who study the data should be the ones to determine that,” said Saints fan, Mark Lancon. We checked with the Saints to see if a deal has been reached to move games to baton rouge. We have not heard back.
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