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Ida aftermath forces NFL to move Saints-Packers game

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The NFL moved the Week 1 matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers to Jacksonville, Florida, after Hurricane Ida pummeled Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

The Saints were set to welcome the Packers at the newly renamed Caesars Superdome in New Orleans but Ida put a damper on those plans. The NFL made the official announcement of the game’s relocation on Wednesday.

FILE – This early Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, file photo, shows the Caesars Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team in New Orleans, La., after Hurricane Ida.  
(Max Becherer/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

“I am proud of the collective communications that occurred between many entities in a short amount of time that led to us making this decision,” Saints team owner Gayle Benson said in a statement. “It is never easy to make a decision that involves not playing a Saints home game in the Caesars Superdome, but I am confident that this is the right decision for our city at this juncture. Collectively, we have a monumental task ahead of us in cleaning up the after effects left by Hurricane Ida, but it has been inspiring to see people getting right to work and starting the process.  

“I wish to personally thank (Jaguars owner) Shahid Khan, (Jaguars president) Mark Lamping and the entire Jacksonville Jaguars staff and their city leaders in offering to host our game. Our staff is working diligently to prepare for the game and we anticipate many Saints fans from across the region will be there to support Coach (Sean) Payton and the Saints players.”

The Saints have been training and practicing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before the Sept. 12 game against Green Bay.

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