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No fans in stands for Saints home opener with Tampa Bay

The team announced Wednesday that the game against the Bucs and Tom Brady will not include fans.
Credit: Derick E. Hingle
Sep 9, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) runs past Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (33) during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

NEW ORLEANS — The Who Dat Nation will be watching the Saints home opener against the Tampa Bay Bucs on TV only.

The team announced Wednesday that the game against the Bucs and Tom Brady will not include fans.

The team made the announcement as the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans continue to contend with the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Unfortunately, at this time, the trends across our state and region do not meet the standards of health and safety we have established with our healthcare and government partners to host fans in the stadium for the first home game," said a statement on the team's web site.

The Saints said they have been working with medical experts and health and safety professionals to determine if they can host fans in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Only the Sept. 13 game with Tampa Bay is currently affected, though other games could be played without fans with the team saying that it is not likely for fans to be allowed at the second home game against Green Bay on Sept. 27. 

"The team, along with health and safety experts, will continuously monitor trends to determine if fans will be able to attend the September 27 game vs. Green Bay. Although the current guidance we have received from our government leaders, suggest this to be unlikely, we remain prepared to host fans if allowed," they added further.

Already the Superdome will have at least the first few rows of the lowest level devoid of fans for any games where fans are allowed. 

Major League Baseball and the NBA have been playing games without fans for three weeks now.

New Orleans has previously cancelled several of the city's signature events like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Festival and the Essence Festival. 

A close eye is being kept on whether or not Mardi Gras 2021 will take place. The huge celebration was largely seen as a possible super-spreader event that had the city and state among the first major outbreak areas of COVID.

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