The National Football League announced today that the New Orleans Saints opening game of the 2021 season against the Green Bay Packers will be played in Jacksonville, Florida at TIAA Bank Field, on Sunday, September 12 at 3:25 p.m. (CT).
Due to the impact of Hurricane Ida on New Orleans and surrounding areas on August 29-30, the decision to move the game to Jacksonville provides the city of New Orleans the greatest ability to continue storm clean up procedures and allow the city's infrastructure to recover and allow all resources to be directed towards the most expedient recovery possible. ASM International manages both the Caesars Superdome and TIAA Bank Field.
"I am proud of the collective communications that occurred between many entities in a short amount of time that led to us making this decision," said New Orleans Saints Owner Gayle Benson. "It is never easy to make a decision that involves not playing a Saints home game in the Caesars Superdome, but I am confident that this is the right decision for our city at this juncture. Collectively, we have a monumental task ahead of us in cleaning up the after effects left by Hurricane Ida, but it has been inspiring to see people getting right to work and starting the process. I wish to personally thank Shahid Khan, Mark Lamping and the entire Jacksonville Jaguars staff and their city leaders in offering to host our game. Our staff is working diligently to prepare for the game and we anticipate many Saints fans from across the region will be there to support Coach Payton and the Saints players."
The Saints and league have had extensive discussions with local and state governmental leaders, Entergy officials, ASM International and other key community leaders. The team will remain in regular contact as daily assessments are made, with the greatest hopes that the Saints can return home to play the balance of their home games at the Caesars Superdome as soon as it is feasible.
"We also want to thank Governor Jon Bel Edwards and Mayor LaToya Cantrell for their leadership during this hurricane," said Benson. "And, of course all of the first responders and those at Entergy and everyone working to get power and water restored to our city. We are grateful for their leadership and tireless efforts."
The Saints are preparing for the upcoming game in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area after the team evacuated on August 28. The team will travel to Jacksonville the day before the game.
Season Ticket Holders will receive access to tickets prior to a general on-sale for fans. More details on ticket sales timing and policies will be released on Thursday.
Check out photos from New Orleans Saints' practice at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on August 31 as they prepare for Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers.