NEW ORLEANS —The New Orleans Saints have begun discussions with LSU about holding the NFL club’s future home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, a team spokesman said Tuesday.
“LSU has been gracious and enthusiastic regarding hosting our future games and we very much appreciate their partnership,” said Greg Bensel, the Saints’ senior vice president for communications. “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.
“Obviously, our overwhelming preference is to play our games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with partial fan attendance, but there has been no indication from the city on when, or if, this might be approved,” Bensel added.
The Saints have played three of eight scheduled regular season home games in the Superdome so far this season with no ticketed fans in attendance. The few hundred in the stands consisted primarily of privately invited family members of players, coaches or staff.
The Saints had asked New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell to allow ticketed fans to occupy about 25% of the Superdome’s 73,000 seats while wearing masks and following other social distancing guidelines during Monday Night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Mayor denied that request.
“While the Saints’ request for a special exception to the city’s Covid-19 guidelines remains under consideration, allowing 20,000 people in an indoor space presents significant public health concerns,” said Beau Tidwell, Cantrell’s director of communications. “At present, no NFL stadium in the country with a fixed-roof facility is allowing such an exception. We will continue to monitor the public health data, but cannot set an artificial timeline for how and when conditions may allow for the kind of special exemption being requested.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. —No. 10 Florida paused all team activities Tuesday following “an increase in positive COVID tests among players,” putting Saturday’s home game against defending national champion LSU in jeopardy.
The Gators had 19 positives following Tuesday morning testing, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of privacy laws. The Independent Florida Alligator first reported the total number of positives.
Athletic director Scott Stricklin said the decision to halt meetings and practices was made “out of an abundance of caution.” Stricklin added that coach Dan Mullen has spoken with players and parents and that he told last week’s opponent, Texas A&M, and Saturday’s opponent, the Tigers.
Stricklin said the situation “will be re-evaluated by UF Health and the athletic department’s sports medicine staff Wednesday.”