NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints could start playing in Baton Rouge this season.
According to Saints spokesperson Greg Bensel, Saints officials are meeting with LSU officials to discuss hosting their home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.
"LSU has been gracious and enthusiastic regarding hosting our future games and we very much appreciate their partnership," Bensel said. "We have also discussed the possibility of moving our home games to LSU with the NFL and they are aware of our exploring this option."
Bensel went on to say that the Saints would obviously prefer to play in the Superdome, but that New Orleans leaders haven't given them any indication on when or if they could have fans in the stands this season.
After news broke of the Saints potential move, New Orleans Director of Communications Beau Tidwell put out a statement saying that the City's stance has not changed. New Orleans will continue to monitor public health data, but won't set an "artificial timeline" for when fans could return to the Superdome.
"While the Saints' request for a special exception to the city’s Covid-19 guidelines remains under consideration, allowing 20K people in an indoor space presents significant public health concerns," he said. "At present, no NFL stadium in the country with a fixed-roof facility is allowing such an exception."
LSU officials have said they are prepared to host the Saints in Tiger Stadium this season.
“These are extraordinary times and we are here to help our great neighbors in any way that we can," Senior Associate Athletic Director Robert Munson said.
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said that Baton Rouge would welcome the Saints, but keep them under the same guidelines as college football teams.
"While health precautions and quality of life don’t have to be mutually exclusive, this is not an open invitation to ignore precautions we have put in place to protect everyone," she said. "Should they choose to come, the Saints and Saints fans will be required to adhere to the same guidelines put in place for college football games - social distancing with 25% occupancy, required masks, and no tailgating."