Saints Packers Game moves to Jacksonville after Hurricane Ida devastated New Orleans

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Saints Packers Game moves to Jacksonville after Hurricane Ida devastated New Orleans

Top line

The first week of the NFL competition between the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers will be held in Jacksonville, Florida, the NFL announced on Wednesday Ida.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts against the Seattle Seahawks in the first quarter … [+] during the 2015 NFC championship game at CenturyLink Field on January 18, 2015 in Seattle. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

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Important facts

The Saints have been training at the AT&T Stadium near Dallas for the past few days after being evacuated from Hurricane Ida, and the team plans to keep New Orleans out for a month.

The recently renamed Caesars Superdome in New Orleans suffered no damage during the hurricane, but much of the city remains without power and some local officials say it could take at least a few weeks for power to be restored.

The game on September 12 now takes place at TIAA Bank Field, the home field of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ultimate quote

“The decision was made in consultation with state and local officials and both associations in the interests of public safety,” said an NFL statement.

What to look out for

From a footballing point of view, the game promises a lot of intrigue. This marks the first time since 2005 that the Saints have started a season without Drew Brees as quarterback – a season the Saints have been on even after Hurricane Katrina. But the biggest story is how reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers will fare after an off-season of news that Rodgers is dissatisfied with the Packers organization.

Key background

The Saints spent the entire 2005 season on the road after Katrina, but this season is not expected to be a repeat of 2005. The massively improved levee system around New Orleans saved the city from the catastrophic flooding during Katrina and the subsequent floods even though Ida’s wind was stronger than that of Katrina. Damage from winds disconnected the city from all eight external sources of electricity and destroyed a 400-foot high transmission tower that supplies power across the Mississippi. It is currently unclear how long it could take to restore power to the entire New Orleans area.

tangent

One of the first signs of hope after the storm came early Wednesday morning when a small section of New Orleans East regained power and became the first part of town to be restored. However, the area is close to a nearby power plant and more than 90% of the metropolitan area remains without electricity.

further reading

New Orleans is partially regaining power after Hurricane Ida, but a full return could take weeks or more (Forbes)

New Orleans Saints may take to the streets because of Hurricane Ida (Forbes)