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Saints-Packers game brings crowds to TIAA Bank Field

Saints-Packers game brings crowds to TIAA Bank Field
Saints-Packers game brings crowds to TIAA Bank Field

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers fans are taking over Jacksonville Sunday for a game at TIAA Bank Field.

The New Orleans Saints moved their game to Jacksonville because of the devastation from Hurricane Ida.

The Saints ended up taking home the first win of the season.

“I came out here to support the home team it’s WHO DAT every day,” said Saints fan Natalie Wiley.

“I feel bad for the reason they were brought here and we feel bad for the people affected in the hurricane doesn’t mean we want their team to win today,” said Matthew Nechodom.

Alex Copland and his family say they rarely make it up to Green Bay from Tampa.

“Big Packer fans and the opportunity came about to buy tickets in Jacksonville it was a quick trip,” Copland said.

The same goes for Luis Diaz who is a big Saints fan and doesn’t make it to New Orleans often.

“It works in our favor we’re here to support,” Diaz said.

Wiley’s family has been affected by Hurricane Ida so she says this game helps her feel less homesick.

“Due to the tragedy of the hurricane, it gave me a little piece of home to be able to walk out my back door and be able to come to the stadium,” she said.

Michael McAndrew is the manager at The Bar at the arena and he said with the Jaguars, Saints and Packers all playing Sunday business was great.

“We already had 100 people in the building at 11:30,” said McAndrew.

The bar is right next to Vystar Arena and McAndrew said the pandemic has hurt business.

“The Vystar hasn’t had any shows next door. We were struggling but we’re going to make it,” said McAndrew.

Casey Shelton is the operating partner at Dos Gatos and he said business has been booming this weekend.

“Since Thursday we’ve had a lot of displaced New Orleans fans and eager Packers fan to escape the great white north,” said Shelton.

Shelton said he grills out every time the Jaguars play away games.

He saw people early Sunday for the Jags and later on the afternoon for the Packers and Saints game.

“It’s like Christmas morning,” said Shelton.

Visit Jacksonville expects this weekend alone to have brought in 5 to 10 million dollars.

About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.