Tue, September 28, 2021

international

With Hurricane Ida in mind, Saints cancel preseason game and will practice in Dallas


With Hurricane Ida bearing down on Louisiana, the New Orleans Saints canceled their preseason game scheduled for Saturday and made plans to relocate temporarily to the Dallas area, where they will conduct practices.

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The Saints made the announcement Friday that they and the NFL would call off the game against the Arizona Cardinals, which was to be played at the Caesars Superdome, at the request of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat.

"Due to the intensification of the hurricane throughout the day and after the most recent tropical update, the team's leadership has made the decision in the best interests of all personnel that may have been directly and indirectly affected by the storm," the Saints said in a written statement. "The announcement comes after constant communications with City of New Orleans officials, the National Weather Service, Homeland Security, Gov. Edwards and leading state officials and the National Football League. The team encourages all residents of the region to take precautionary measures to remain safe throughout the impending hurricane."

The Saints plan to travel late Saturday afternoon to Dallas, a person familiar with the situation confirmed. They could practice at AT&T Stadium, the Arlington, Tex. home of the Dallas Cowboys. Some logistical issues will have to be worked out, with the Cowboys scheduled to play a preseason game at home Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Earlier Friday, the starting time of the Saints-Cardinals game had been moved up seven hours, from 7 p.m. to noon CT. But by late that afternoon, the cancellation was announced.

The Cardinals said they already had left for New Orleans when the game was canceled while the team was in midflight. Their plane turned around and returned to Phoenix.

"[W]e are all home now," Cardinals reporter Darren Urban wrote on the Cardinals' website. "Safe. And that's what you think of in the end, the people of New Orleans, preparing for another hurricane two days away from the 16-year anniversary of infamous Hurricane Katrina. The game didn't matter. The people do, and I hope they are safe too."

The Saints said they would be in contact with their season-ticket holders regarding refunds or credits to their accounts for Saturday's canceled game.

Published : August 28, 2021