The New Orleans Saints-Green Bay Packers Sept. 12 NFL season opener will be played at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, after Hurricane Ida ripped through the New Orleans area.
Though the Caesars Superdome suffered only light damage, the decision was made to move the season opener, as well as an Oct. 3 home game, from New Orleans. Concerns over staffing and lingering issues with the power grid caused the team and the NFL to seek an alternate venue. The first choice for the Saints, Dallas’s AT&T Stadium, was ruled out because of a concert scheduled for the venue Sept. 15, and with the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans are all playing at home Sept. 12, the hopes for a game closer to fans were dashed. Raymond James Stadium was deemed to be unavailable because of a Sept. 9 Bucs game. (No, a move to Green Bay was never considered.) The NFL also mandated the game be played at an NFL facility, as they are set up with the broadcast and instant-replay equipment required for a league broadcast, taking the Alamodome or other college facilities out of the mix. With the Jaguars opening the season Sept. 12 in Houston, TIAA Bank Field is available.
No final decision has been made on the Oct. 3 game; if New Orleans is deemed to be unavailable, that game would be played at TIAA Bank Field as well.
The team also announced practices and strength and conditioning sessions will be held at TCU in Fort Worth. At TCU the Saints will have access to locker-room facilities at Amon G. Carter Stadium, outdoor fields, the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility and the strength and conditioning facilities at the Bob Lilly Performance Center.
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