Saints “preparing to play” this year, declare it “too important for our city”

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New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell said yesterday that large music festivals in her city should be put on hold until 2021, and when asked about how that pertains to professional football, she replied: “I don’t think anyone has a clue right now.”

The Saints may not either, but they at least want to send a signal that projects confidence.

Saints senior vice president of communications Greg Bensel issued a statement that had a more positive message.

We are preparing to play and we are being very proactive in working with healthcare professionals, our medical staff and both the NBA and NFL,” the statement said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “In addition, we are in constant contact with local and state government. When we return this season, our highest priority will be health and safety of our fans, staff, players and coaches. It is what we need to do and are doing relative to planning to play and we will be ready.

“And considering the economic and cultural significance of the Saints, we are working to do everything in our power to make it work. It’s too important for our city.”

Of course, the Saints can’t be sure of what might happen any more than the mayor of New Orleans at the moment. But there’s currently a push from back-to-sports proponents (including President Donald Trump).

The NFL schedule is set to be released in early May, which will be the next indication of what the league is thinking about a return to play in whatever fashion, whether it includes large gatherings of fans or not.

8 responses to “Saints “preparing to play” this year, declare it “too important for our city”

  1. “And considering the economic and cultural significance of the Saints, we are working to do everything in our power to make it work. It’s too important for our city.”

    Seriously? I love following and watching football, but football (like all pro sports) is entertainment…when will owners, GMs, and players realize this.

    It contributes to very little to the economics of a metro area. And culture? Sure, I guess in some cities where there isn’t much else happening. But think of all the history, music, art, and food that is in New Orleans. The Saints contribute to an incredibly small part to that city’s culture.

    Let’s not pretend football is more important than it is. Especially now.

    My guess is that a lot of people in the league are worried people are getting to used to living a life without football.

  2. why33 says:

    “It contributes to very little to the economics of a metro area”

    I can’t comment on other cities, but in New Orleans, Saints football is a cornerstone of local community and culture. Yes, New Orleans has a rich history, music, art, etc., but for the common New Orleanian ( and Louisiana citizens ), the Saints represent a common theme that everyone, regardless of race, culture, or economic status can share equally.

    That commonality assists in every element of life for a local in our area…even if you are not a football fan. If you are a truck driver, pharmacist, nurse, garbage man or CEO, the Saints give all our citizens something to rally around. If you doubt that, go back and watch the post Katrina “reunion” game against the Falcons.

    The groundswell which coincided with that game propelled a battered populace forward with a common theme, and we responded with zeal. Unfortunately, we have yet another lame mayor who insists upon shouting out to the world that New Orleans is closed for business for the year 2020. That speculation is beyond foolish, as no one knows what the future holds as far as COVID-19 goes.

    Like most small market NFL cities, we need to wait until May 1st to map which areas have been, or are likely to, manifest this virus. We need to maintain our social distancing vigil until our experts have determined where our resources are needed most. Only at that point can we even begin to measure which actions are most prudent going forward.

    The NFL is only a game ( I prefer college ), but in some areas it is a mainstay for cultural and social stability. Though we should not rush to reengage the fall season in any sport, neither can we stay holed up indefinitely.

    For now, let us remain vigilant.

  3. Actually your wrong on all those points. Born and raised in Nola. The region needs the Saints. The economic impact is huge.

  4. Lot of presumption in those statements. The public, society, communities don’t need football, or the billionaires who own it, or the millionaires who play it. It’s all just a novelty, a distraction. The only people who need it are the regular folk who work for businesses that directly rely on game-generated revenue. And I suspect most of those could adapt.

  5. YES! More billionaires putting money over public health. You wonder how America gets intertwined constantly with horrible situations.

  6. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean you should do it. I will stay away from Louisiana and the Saints games after the rate of infection for Louisiana people. Louisiana is already blaming illness on Mardis Gras. If Saints games cause problems that is an easy cancellation in view of the economic impact of losing the Saints is on Louisiana.

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