NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -If you’ve been to a Saints’ game, you’ve seen the costumes. As a season ticket holder, Lee Edmonson and his crew spend weeks planning theirs.
“It’s a big production for us so not to have that I don’t know what we’re gonna do,” he said.
For fourteen years, they’ve thought through witty Saints takes on costumes like “Saintsgiving”, “Choppa Style”, and “Referees in Training”.
With the opening home game off-limits for fans in the dome, he says the disappointing decision has him considering opting out of his season tickets for this year.
“That’s what we do when we go down there, we make sure people have a good time everyone enjoys it, we’re friendly with the opposing fans are fans they enjoy us, so not to have all that it’s just that leaves like a void in there… it’s not just what we’re missing out on you have all the service people down there inside the dome outside the dome I guess all that’s going to be impacted too,” he said.
“There’s no one out there and now it’s desolate, it’s very, very quiet right now for tonight,” said Marshall Hahn.
Game days are huge moneymakers for the restaurants downtown as well. Walk-On’s general manager says they bring in 6 to 10 times their daily revenue when fans are in town, without that traffic, he says they’ll do their best to plan for the deficit.
“It’s gonna be difficult it’s going to be different and all that’s a little scary sometimes,” Hahn said.
Since March, the city’s been trying to forecast worst case scenarios for the city’s budget. CAO Gilbert Montano says without Saints fans, the city loses that hotel tax revenue, which could translate to layoffs in the future.
“If there’s no Saints season and prepared to ensure that we can still deliver those quality basic services, that’s your public safety, that’s your infrastructure, that’s certainly your overall basic management,” Montano said.
From the city’s revenue to the workers to the die-hard fans, there’s undoubtedly going to be a hole in the Saints season tradition.
“Fourteen years we’ve been doing that, to not be able to do it, I mean it’s almost like we lost our job… it’s a part of your life, it’s gone and what do you fill it with,” Edmonson said.
But if home games mean more empty seats in the future, Edmonson says fans will just have to remember, “There’s No Place like Dome”.
The Saints with health and safety experts say they’ll continue to monitor COVID-19 data to see if fans will be able to attend the September 27 game against Green Bay.
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