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Packers Season Opener Against Saints Will Be In Jacksonville Following Hurricane Ida

NFL Announced The Decision Wedneday

Green Bay Packers long snapper Hunter Bradley and linebacker Oren Burks
Green Bay Packers long snapper Hunter Bradley (43) and linebacker Oren Burks (42) during an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in New Orleans. Tyler Kaufman/AP Photo

The Green Bay Packers will open their season in Jacksonville, Florida, the NFL has announced.

The move comes after Hurricane Ida caused serious damage in New Orleans over the weekend. The Packers were scheduled to play the Saints on Sunday, Sept. 12. at the Superdome.

Now, Green Bay’s season opener will take place at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kickoff remains scheduled for 3:25 p.m. that same day.

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“The decision was made, in consultation with state and local officials and both clubs, in the interest of public safety,” the league said in a news release.

The game is a home game for the Saints, so it would not have been moved to Green Bay.

More than a million homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast, including the entire city of New Orleans, lost power Sunday. At least six deaths have been linked to the storm.

Before the storm, the Saints moved operations to Dallas. Initial reports indicated they might host the Packers at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but a concert was already scheduled for setup there. It could be weeks before the Saints return to New Orleans.

The last time the Saints moved their home opener was 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. The Superdome served as a shelter of last resort during that storm. New Orleans didn’t play at home that season, but Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said he doesn’t expect that’ll be the case this year.

On Wednesday, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said his team had no say in where its first game would be held.

“First, our thoughts are with everybody in New Orleans, that’s a bad deal that they’re going through,” said Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.

His team will have to make some adjustments due to the change, he said Wednesday. The Superdome is indoors, while TIAA Bank Field is outside.

“There are some positives, it probably won’t be quite as loud,” he said. “But the negative is it’s hard to simulate that kind of heat, so our guys are going to have to do a great job of hydrating and taking care of their bodies all week.”

The Jaguars will open their season on Sept. 12 in Houston.