Saints to Require Fans Show Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Test for Games

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2021

Football: View of goalpost and Mercedes-Benz logo during New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
New Orleans, LA 11/24/2019
CREDIT: Simon Bruty (Photo by Simon Bruty /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
(Set Number: X163080 TK1 )
Set Number: X163080 TK1

The New Orleans Saints will be able to return to full capacity this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but state and city rules will limit who is permitted to attend games at the Superdome. 

Per a statement from the team, "As required by the City of New Orleans, fans will simply need to show their vaccination card or verified digital proof of vaccination (LA Wallet or other official government sanctioned app) or negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the prior 72 hours to attend games."

The Saints added that they will have a mask mandate within the Caesars Superdome:

New Orleans Saints @Saints

Yes, the city of New Orleans is currently under a Mask Mandate for sports and entertainment venues as well as indoor events. Face coverings must be worn by fans and staff of all ages at all times, other than while actively eating or drinking <a href="https://t.co/QMgYWaQoGg">https://t.co/QMgYWaQoGg</a>

"We are committed to doing everything we can in the current environment to protect your health and safety while at the same time providing the best game day experience in the NFL," the team added in its statement. 

To this point, it is believed the Saints are the only NFL team requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend games, though as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, more teams could potentially adopt similar mandates.

"We are not limiting capacity," New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell told reporters Thursday. "We've got to get our people vaccinated."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy added:

"As we did last year, the league and clubs will continue to follow the latest guidance from local, state and federal public health authorities, including the CDC, with whom we are in regular contact. We are planning on full stadiums across the league this year but will remain flexible and adaptable as necessary. Like last season, there may be different fan experiences depending on the current situation in the local markets working in conjunction with public health authorities."

As for the NFL's players, 92 percent have either been fully vaccinated or had one of the shots, per Jarrett Bell of USA Today. Fifteen of the NFL's 32 teams have reached a 95 percent vaccination mark.