The New Orleans Saints announced yesterday that their season opener against the Buccaneers will be played with no fans. The news comes as COVID-19 is still an issue in the greater New Orleans region.

Saints President Dennis Lauscha said in an interview with WWL Radio that the team is paying attention not only to the coronavirus stats in the New Orleans area but also across the state. Lauscha went on to say 30% of the Saints' game-day fans are from other regions of the state.

Team officials met a team of health and safety experts, Governor John Bel Edwards, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Tuesday to discuss what a safe return to the Superdome would look like.

Mayor Cantrell had this to say in a press release:

We are beginning to trend back in the right direction, but we are not where we need to be yet...as I have said from the beginning of our response to this pandemic, our decisions will be guided by data, and until we get to where we need to be, we will have to support the Saints from the sidelines at home.

Gov. Edwards took to Twitter about the matter:

This is terrible news for most fans. The off-season build-up to this game was anything but short of epic. It was being billed as "the GOAT vs GOAT" with a premier match-up of Drew Brees and Tom Brady, two first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterbacks and arguably both ranked at the top of the all-time best at their position. On the bright side, at least it will still be on TV, and we'll all have the best seat in the house.

NOLA.com is reporting Louisiana government officials are suggesting no fans be allowed to attend the second home game against the Green Bay Packers on September 27. However, no official decision has been made on any other game than the season opener at this time.

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