Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) called on lawmakers to oppose funding requests made by the New Orleans Saints for the Caesars Superdome after the team announced they will not offer refunds to ticketholders that choose to not be vaccinated, or do not provide proof of a negative coronavirus test at the gate, calling the policy “completely unacceptable.”
“Completely unacceptable, @Saints! Taxpayers should not continue to fund your projects with policies like this. I call on @LATreasury and my fellow Bond Commission members to oppose any request for the Dome until these ticket holders are refunded or given ability to opt out,” Landry tweeted Tuesday after the Saints made the announcement.
Completely unacceptable, @Saints! Taxpayers should not continue to fund your projects with policies like this. I call on @LATreasury and my fellow Bond Commission members to oppose any request for the Dome until these ticket holders are refunded or given ability to opt out. https://t.co/jjVjWMLbHO
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) August 18, 2021
Senior Vice President of Communications for the Saints Greg Bensel announced Tuesday:
We’ve received all necessary local and state approvals to host a full stadium of fans and with that in mind, we are not offering a refund or opt out option this season. We remain optimistic that, with our community’s help and as vaccination rates increase, these restrictions will no longer be necessary as the season progresses. However, if you don’t plan on attending games this season, we’d recommend that you resell your individual game tickets on SeatGeek, which has a strong secondary market for Saints tickets.
The Saints said the policy also applies to season ticket holders.
The requirement for fans to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a 72-hour PCR test with a negative result to enter the Superdome and Champions Square on game day is in accordance with guidelines set by Mayor LaToya Cantrell last week for indoor activities. Saints fans will also have to follow the indoor mask mandate set to expire on September 1, unless Gov. John Bel Edwards chooses to extend the mandate.
Starting today, everyone in New Orleans age 12+ must show proof of at least 1 dose of a #COVID vaccine or a negative PCR test within the last 72hrs to do activities with a higher risk of transmission
We want to keep our people safe, without shutting down again & this is the way! pic.twitter.com/giTDIISzib
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) August 16, 2021
“In an effort to encourage more Saints fans to get vaccinated, the organization partnered with Ochsner to host a vaccination event at the Smoothie King Center on Tuesday. The event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., attracted dozens of people,” WDSU reported.
Landry has been a champion for the people of Louisiana when it comes to “woke” activism by the Saints organization. In 2017, after several Saints players refused to stand for the national anthem, Landry asked the state to reevaluate public funding during a game against the Carolina Panthers.
“Why should the taxpayers subsidize with hundreds of millions of dollars a two billion dollar organization that allows the blatant disregard for our flag and our anthem?” Landry said at the time.
— New Orleans Advocate (@theadvocateno) September 24, 2017
Members of the corporate media are taking sides on the issue, and have spoken in support of the Saint’s decision. NBC sportswriter Michael David Smith, who is based out of Chicago, editorialized about the Saints policy:
If you’re both refusing to get vaccinated and refusing to get tested for COVID-19, you’re being needlessly obstinate, and there’s no reason the Saints should be accommodating to such people.
Other NFL teams have put vaccination policies for fans in place as well. The Las Vegas Raiders will require proof of vaccination for all attendees at Allegiant Stadium, and due to the vaccine requirement fans will not have to wear masks inside the stadium.
The Saints have their first home preseason game on August 23, against the Jacksonville Jaguars.