Why Are the Saints and Packers Playing in Jacksonville?

No, it’s not a misprint. Yes, the finish zones at TIAA Bank Stadium, dwelling of the Jacksonville Jaguars, actually do say “SAINTS.”

The New Orleans Saints, displaced by the destruction of Hurricane Ida, will start the season Sunday in opposition to the Green Bay Packers in the teal-tinged wilderness of Jacksonville, Fla., as a substitute of the Superdome’s black-and-gold cacophony. The stadium was out there as a result of the Jaguars open on the highway, however the website was hardly chosen at random.

After evacuating New Orleans on Aug. 28, the Saints settled in North Texas, working towards first at AT&T Stadium in Arlington earlier than shifting to Texas Christian University, in Fort Worth. With AT&T unavailable Sunday due to a battle, the Saints picked Jacksonville from amongst Florida’s three N.F.L. locales, based on the New Orleans Times-Picayune, due to its “relative inaccessibility and unattractiveness as a destination location.”

Loving the #Saints assist in Jacksonville! #SaintsGameday pic.twitter.com/R1nSdbGwm4

— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 12, 2021

The Saints went as far as to analysis flights to Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville, and found that Jacksonville was the hardest — and most costly — possibility for Packers followers.

“We’re conscious of everything, I think, when it comes to preparing for an opponent,” Saints normal supervisor Mickey Loomis advised reporters final week. “The main thing is, hey, we’ve got to have an NFL-ready stadium. Look, there’s just so many variables. I don’t want to get into all the variables that exist, but the main thing is to have a suitable place to play that both teams have access to.”

This is predicted to be the solely dwelling sport the Saints play away from New Orleans. Mayor LaToya Cantrell mentioned that the Superdome, which didn’t undergo any main injury, ought to be able to host the workforce’s Week four sport in opposition to the Giants.