As Hurricane Ida continues wreaking havoc in the southeast of the United States, the National Football Leagues finds itself having to adjust.
The New Orleans Saints were set to host their season opener against the Green Bay Packers on their home turf. That will no longer be the case as the NFL announces the game will move to a new location due to the presence of Hurricane Ida. The Saints typically play their home games in the Superdome, which resides in the heart of New Orleans. Instead of playing their first game on their home field, they will travel to Jacksonville, Florida to face the Green Bay Packers.
On Wednesday, the league said the move is due to damage caused by Hurricane Ida and continued relief efforts. The Saints and Packers will now head to Jacksonville on Sunday, Sept. 12, and will square off at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The game is still set to kickoff at 4:25 p.m. ET, according to a statement put out by the NFL.
“The decision was made, in consultation with state and local officials and both clubs, in the interest of public safety,” the statement from the league declares. The NFL shared their statement concerning the game and Hurricane Ida on their various social media pages today (Wednesday).
“Due to the ongoing recovery efforts in New Orleans and the surrounding communities in the wake of Hurricane Ida, the New Orleans Saints week one home game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Sept. 12, will be played at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida,” the statement proclaims.
Hurricane Ida Forces NFL to Move Marquee Match
The NFL also says in the recently released statement that details on tickets and other specifics will follow soon.
The Superdome, reportedly, did not receive any significant damage from Hurricane Ida. The same can not be said for other parts of New Orleans, where relief efforts are already underway.
The game is expected to be one of the marquee games in the NFL opening week matchups. Despite Hurricane Ida’s best efforts — the game will go on. Both the Packers and the Saints made the playoffs last year and expect the same for the 2021 season. The Packers came within one game of advancing to the Super Bowl but were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs, led by their superstar quarterback Tom Brady, would go on to win the Super Bowl with Brady taking MVP honors.
It isn’t known if the Hurricane Ida relief efforts will affect any more home games for the New Orleans Saints. They will not play another home game until October 3, when they will face the New York Giants.
The NFL also announced it will be donating $1 million to assist relief efforts in the affected areas.