Like many other New Orleans residents, the Saints have been displaced by Hurricane Ida and are looking for lodgings. For now, they’ve gathered at a hotel in Dallas while practicing at the Cowboys’ nearby AT&T Stadium. But that isn’t a long-term fix. With the team expecting to be away from New Orleans for a month out of an abundance of caution, Sean Payton and the other Saints decision-makers have begun exploring their options.
They’d prefer a college football facility, which would allow them to practice without conflicting with another pro team. That’s a strategy the Saints have adopted in the past — in 2019, they spent a week at the Washington Huskies campus between West Coast road games with the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. It’s early, but so far two schools in Texas have taken the initiative.
“TCU and SMU have reached out and completely would love to be a part of helping us and hosting us,” Payton told Amie Just of the Times-Picayune | Advocate.
The TCU Horned Frogs are just across town in Fort Worth, while the SMU Mustangs are half an hour in the other direction from Arlington’s AT&T Stadium in north Dallas. Either location would allow the Saints to keep everyone in the area, but it’s going to take some time for the Saints to make a decision.
As for their Week 1 kickoff with the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 12? Payton described a neutral-site relocation to AT&T Stadium as “very realistic,” though it’s too early to say for sure. Watch out for confirmation in the days ahead.
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