NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Today was the first home game where Saints fans were allowed inside the dome. While fans say they were the deciding factor in the win, Superdome coordinators say everything behind the scenes ran seamlessly.
Even with only 3,000 fans, the energy was palpable coming out of the dome, especially coming off of a win against the Carolina panthers.
“It’s so great, like a regular Sunday all over again feels great it’s like my second home,” Tim Branch said.
“It was a blessing it was like something exciting, and I love the Saints, I’m the number one Saints fan,” Valerie Myles said.
For Kenny and Trisha Earskin coming from Texas, this was their first experience inside the Dome, though they say they wouldn’t change it for anything.
“It was the first game back we couldn’t miss it and this is the first of many first many,” Kenny and Trisha Earskin said.
Masks were required inside, though Who Dats say it didn’t get in the way of cheering whatsoever.
“We made a difference though we helped out. It was third down and we were so loud yes and that’s why we won,” said Janet Leroux and Barbara Hannett.
Even a young Carolina fan, whose family drove more than 13 hours just to be a part of the Saints experience, says it’s something he wants to see again. “It was fun.”
Reporter: You ever been to a ball game like this?
“We’ve been to a falcons game.”
Reporter: How does this one compare?
“The stadium is better probably,” Wilkes Burnette said.
Superdome Communications Director, Mike Hoss says they started formulating this plan to welcome fans back in the Dome back in April and May when everything was shut down. He says the gradual step up from 700 fans to 3,000 went as smooth as possible, especially as fans quickly complied with the mask mandate.
“I think a little nudge here because people forget they’re not used to it. I saw plenty of people trying to drink from their masks eat with it on, and you forget but just a little nudge you put it back up and I think the Saints fans did a great job today,” Hoss said.
The final message from fans: they cannot wait for more games inside the Dome, asking city leaders to let more people in.
“We haven’t been happy for a while, so this will make the city so happy, Latoya let them all come,” LeRoux said.
According to the compromise between the Saints and the mayor’s office, if coronavirus trends continue in a good direction the city could allow up to 6,000 fans in the Dome for the Saints' games in November.
Copyright 2020 WVUE. All rights reserved.