The damage to the New Orleans Saints Superdome by Hurricane Katrina cancels out any possibility of the Saints playing at home. The upcoming “home” opener against the New York Giants has been moved to Giants Stadium and from Sunday to Monday. In honor of the Saints, the west end zone will say “Saints” and there will be black and gold banners. Also on hand will be the Saints cheerleaders, the “Saintsations.”
“It’s cool. But don’t get me wrong, the New York Giants are still playing a home game,” Saints wide receiver Joe Horn told the AP.
“Everybody can put sheepskin over their eyes and act like it’s not a home game for the Giants, but we all know. I’m sure the fans and the New York Giants football club care about what happens and their heart goes out to us. We will appreciate that, but we’re also not crazy and thinking it’s a home game.”
The NFL has declared a Hurricane Relief Weekend with the major goal being to raise money for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. Monday Night Football will broadcast a doubleheader including the Saints, Giants game. During the game there will be a telethon broadcast from the ABC Times Square studio. Several current and former NFL players will be on hand to man the phones.
The NFL has arranged for about 600 displaced Saints fans to be flown in for the game. Other special events for the game include a coin toss with former President George Bush and members of the New Orleans police and fire departments.
The Saints-Giants game will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET and switch over to ESPN at 9 p.m. at the start of the Cowboys-Redskins game.
The Saints announced their modified schedule. They will play three games in San Antonio, Texas at the Alamodome. They will play the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 2, the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 16 and the Detroit Lions on Dec. 24.
The rest of the home games will be played at Louisiana State University (LSU) Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge starting with the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 30, the Chicago Bears on Nov. 6, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 4 and the Caroline Panthers on Dec. 18.