New Orleans Saints to allow in-person fans starting this weekend
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The New Orleans Saints will allow fans in the indoor Superdome for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic beginning with their Sunday game, officials announced Tuesday.

The NFL team will allow season ticket holders to claim 3,000 tickets for the game against the Carolina Panthers, according to a press release

Saints officials and New Orleans Mayor LaToya CantrellLaToya CantrellNew Orleans bans Mardi Gras parades for 2021 Cities say organizers didn't get permit for Christian music festivals 2 dead as Hurricane Zeta makes landfall in New Orleans MORE (D) decided upon a “phased and deliberate pilot approach” to allowing in-person fans in the Superdome. 

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As long as local health guidelines allow, the Saints plan to host 6,000 fans for the Nov. 15 game against the San Francisco 49ers and the Nov. 22 game against the Atlanta Falcons. They expect to up the capacity to 15,000 for the Dec. 20 game against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dec. 25 game against the Minnesota Vikings, if health restrictions allow. 

The mayor’s office will be ensuring gatherings in the Central Business District and French Quarter on game days follow city coronavirus restrictions, according to the release. 

The Saints and Cantrell’s office will urge fans to wear their masks in public, maintain good hygiene and practice social distancing.

“It is imperative as noted that everyone do their part to make sure all of the progress made by our community in our fight against Covid-19 is not lost and we have no setbacks, this plan is based on creating a healthy and safe environment for our fans to arrive, enjoy and depart Saints home games safely,” the release stated. 

Several NFL teams including the Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars allowed a limited number of fans to attend games last week.

The five NFL teams with fixed roofs have not hosted fans. But some with retractable roofs, such as the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans, have had in-person fans for games while keeping the stadium roof shut, according to NOLA.com.

Last week, Saints officials were reportedly considering playing in Louisiana State University’s outdoor Tiger Stadium in order to host fans in-person.