The Saints should have played at Cajun Field to start the season until they were allowed to have fans in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
COVID-19 has been handled fairly well in the four major sports by everyone except for baseball and football, but not for lack of trying. The NHL and NBA had bubbles for their league, and they were mostly successful. The NFL however would not be able to host a bubble in a single city.
There are two conferences in the NFL, the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference known as the NFC and AFC respectively. There are four divisions in each conference in the North, South, East and West with four teams in each division.
Each team has an active roster of 53 players and a practice squad of 16. The practice squad was extended in size because of the uncertainty of COVID-19 to make sure that teams have enough players to play their games.
If you do the math that is roughly 2,208 players and we have not even counted all the coaches and staff that teams have. So if the NFL did have a bubble you would have to shut down half the country almost to accommodate them.
The NFL is doing everything they can to prevent an outbreak. They did not have a preseason, mini camps or organized team activities. They also have very strict testing where they test their players daily.
They are not even allowing fans into games if the stadium has a covered roof like our very own New Orleans Saints. The Saints have struggled to start the season mostly because of defense and an aging quarterback, but also they have no fan energy to feed off of.
Since they have no fans, the Saints have been looking to local college stadiums to play games at and have fans in. Both Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have offered their stadiums to the Saints.
LSU’s stadiums have no roof so they can have up to 25,00 fans in the stadium. UL Lafayette’s stadium also has no roof but would only be able to hold 9,000 fans. UL Lafayette should be the first option strictly based on superstition because the last time the Saints played in Death Valley was post-Katrina and they lost every game.
2020 is an unpredictable year and the thought of Alvin Kamra running across the Ragin Cajun Logo would not be as unusual as we all think. Also, I would absolutely pay any amount of money to watch my favorite team play on my college’s football field.
Recently the Saints were allowed to have 3,000 fans in their stadium for their game against the Carolina Panthers. It served as a “test run” in a sense to gradually add more fans to their games as the season continues.
The Saints should’ve played at Cajun Field because they could’ve had 6,000 more fans in the stands and also it’s in our back yard. Although a trip to New Orleans is a nice perk to going to a Saints game, it would’ve been equally as nice to drive 15 minutes to the game as opposed to a little over an hour.
The Saints have already allowed fans back in the Superdome, but it would’ve been nice to see them play a game in Lafayette. By week 15 the Saints will be able to host a number of fans that exceeds the capacity of Cajun Field if everything goes according to plan. But the idea of an NFL team that some consider a super bowl contender playing in our college stadium is an exciting idea.