Saints season ticket holders opt out of 2020 ahead of much uncertainty

Updated: Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Instead of loud fans taking in the action at the dome this season, the Saints could be playing in front of quiet, empty seats.

The Saints sent out a form for season ticket holders, allowing them to opt-out of this year’s games because of COVID-19 concerns.

It may be a sign there won't be fans in the Superdome come fall.

The form gives two options; those who paid have the option of either rolling over that money to the 2021 season or get a refund.

No decision has been made on whether there will be fans in the stands this year, but the Saints organization is allowing fans a choice.

"My plan is just let them keep it, and I'm moving on to next year. You're not making any money on interest now anyway," Rick Gratia said.

Some say they decided to opt-out due to safety concerns.

“We both decided that my mother’s health was paramount. So, the decision was made to opt-out,” TJ Lee said.

Lee said he wasn't willing to take the risk.

"The dilemma I have is my mom is going to turn 90 years old in August, and she now resides with my wife and I," Lee said.

He worries what going to the games could mean.

"Balance the health and well-being of my mother, by myself and my wife congregating amongst other fans and bringing something back to my mom," Lee said.

Lee said he's been a season ticket holder since Hurricane Katrina.

"My wife lives to go to those games. that is her enjoyment in life and we look forward to the Saints, to the season," Lee said.

Gratia says being a season ticket holder is a family tradition.

“My family had tickets in the beginning since 67, Tulane stadium, and I stopped a couple of times, but since 2006 I’ve been consistently having seven season tickets,” Gratia said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, it’s unclear if any fans or just a limited number will be allowed inside the dome.

"I don't know that any fans will be there at all. I'm not sure that it's wise to have fans there," Lee said.

"I have doubts whether the season will be played, college or pro, and that's my personal feeling," Gratia said.

While it will be a break in tradition for some ticket holders, they say it pales in comparison to saving lives.

“It’s kind of surprising that the people that are pushing the hardest are the states in the most trouble. You know, like the Southeastern Conference and that sort of thing. Frankly, those states seem to be in the worst situation right now, and surely, if it’s bad now, you can only imagine what it will be in the fall,” Gratia said.

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