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Cantrell: No fans at September Saints games, tailgating won't be allowed

She said she could not allow 25,000 people to cluster in a possible "super-spreader" event.
Credit: AP
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs through drills during practice at their NFL football training facility in Metairie, La., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Pool)

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell says she will not allow fans into the Superdome for the Saints game against the Packers later this month. 

At a press conference Friday, Cantrell acknowledged that the city was excited for the start of football season, but said she could not allow 25,000 people to cluster in a possible "super-spreader" event.

The news conference comes one day after Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that the state would move Phase 3 reopening and ease the state’s coronavirus restrictions. 

The state had already given the New Orleans Saints approval to have fans in the Superdome starting with their second home game on Sept. 27. 

There is no word on how many fans would be allowed into the games, how close they could sit to one another or if areas would be blocked off, when or if they are eventually allowed. There would likely be some type of method for fans entering the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to keep social distancing. 

Governor John Bel Edwards, during a press conference last month, said that even though having fans at that time is in the plan, things could change if the state's numbers increase.

"And they understand that," said Edwards, "But they have to have some target to drive their planning."

Edwards is expected to provide more details about what restrictions will be lifted or remain in place Friday afternoon. He did not give details Thursday except to say that a statewide mask mandate will remain in place.

The Mayor had said previously that New Orleans is still waiting to receive the city's full share of CARES Act money from the state, and would need that in order to provide the manpower to facilitate the game.

The Sept. 27 home game will be played against the Green Bay Packers. 

This Sunday, the team's season starts with a home game sans fans. Tom Brady will make his debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Drew Brees on Sept. 13. 

Police have asked people to not tailgate or gather downtown ahead of Sunday’s game. 

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