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Saints plan to play in packed Superdome, vaccines may be required

NFL and New Orleans leaders are optimistic the dome will be back to full capacity for the upcoming season.

NEW ORLEANS — If you want to be in that number and watch the Saints play in the Superdome, get vaccinated.

That’s the message as the Black and Gold prepares to take the field in front of a full stadium this upcoming season.

It was a little lonely in the dome last year.

“Who Dats” were few and far between.

Coronavirus restrictions even kept Saints superfan Leroy Mitchell, aka “Whistle Monster” out of the dome for the first time in 26 years.

“I haven’t been in the Superdome for over 300 and something days, man,” Mitchell said. “It’s odd.”

“Soul Saint” Ezell Knox was among the handful who got to watch the team from the stands.

He says it wasn’t the same.

“I’ll be glad when it’s a full stadium. There’s nothing like a full stadium with all the Who Dats in that dome," Knox said.

NFL and New Orleans leaders are optimistic the dome will be back to full capacity for the upcoming season.

Superdome Commission (LSED) Chairman Kyle France says it all depends on COVID-19 vaccination rates and how close the metro area is to herd immunity.

“We’re not there yet,” France said. “Hopefully the people in Louisiana continue to get vaccinated and our numbers will pick up and we’ll be able to go to a Saints game at full capacity.”

France revealed fans may have to show proof of vaccination to enter the dome.

“We’ve got to be careful that all of the fans that are coming into that facility are vaccinated accordingly, so that we don’t get a COVID spread,” France said. “That’s very, very important.”

The Saints super-fans agree.

“If you want to see your Saints up close and personal, like I love to do, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” Knox said.

“A shot to go and do something fun to protect people around you, why not,” Mitchell said.

That adds new meaning to the old saying, “take one for the team.”

Saints VP Greg Bensel said in a statement, “We are planning to play our games this season in front of a full stadium. We are actively working with city and state officials to continue to promote a safe and healthy lifestyle relative to COVID-19 and are encouraging vaccinations for our citizens.”

The Saints open the regular season at home on Sept. 12 against the Green Bay Packers.

UPDATE: In a response to this report on Twitter, the Saints confirmed that the team will not require vaccinations to attend games. 

However, the decision regarding vaccine requirements at home games ultimately rests with the Superdome Commission. 

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