For Now, Bucs at New Orleans Still On

August 31st, 2008
The season opener between the Bucs and Saints is still scheduled for New Orleans... for now.

The season opener between the Bucs and Saints is still scheduled for New Orleans... for now.

updated 8/31, 7:20 p.m.

Joe has been surfing trying to find out where the Bucs will be playing their season opener with the Saints with Hurricane Gustav bearing down on the Gulf Coast. From what Joe can tell, the game will be played at New Orleans, according to the Times Picayune.

Here’s what Joe does know:

The Superdome will not be used as a hurricane shelter. Three years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit, the dome was used as a hurricane shelter. Even if the roof of the facility wasn’t damaged by the storm, those who escaped the storm in the Superdome trashed the interior of the facility so badly that there was no way any games could have been played there, part of the reason the Saints became road warriors that season.

(The damage to the interior was so complete, that the Sugar Bowl four months later couldn’t be played at the Superdome. It was moved to Atlanta.)

Hurricane Gustav could hit the Gulf Coast as a Category-5 storm, the strongest hurricane measured.

Not sure if the Superdome can be used if the roof is damaged similar to what happened during Katrina, also near Category 5 intensity.

The Saints have temporarily relocated to Indianapolis and released an abbreviated practice schedule there. They plan to return to New Orleans Friday.

The easiest solution would be to simply swap the games with the Bucs, playing the season opener in Tampa. Of course, this would leave the Bucs with four straight road games in late-November and early-December: at Detroit, at New Orleans, at Carolina and at Atlanta.

Initially, Joe learned the NFL would decide by Sunday where to hold the game. Well, today is Sunday.

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