Earlier on Friday, the New Orleans Saints confirmed that Saturday’s preseason finale versus the Arizona Cardinals had been moved up from 7 p.m. local time to noon because of the threat caused by what’s become Hurricane Ida.
The situation changed ahead of the evening hours, however, when the Saints announced the contest has now been canceled.
“Due to the intensification of the hurricane throughout the day and after the most recent tropical update, the team’s leadership has made the decision in the best interests of all personnel that may have been directly and indirectly affected by the storm,” the Saints explained in their released statement.
“This announcement comes after constant communications with City of New Orleans officials, the National Weather Service, Homeland Security, Governor Edwards and leading state officials and the National Football League. The team encourages all residents of the region to take precautionary measures to remain safe throughout the impending hurricane. The Saints will be in communication with season ticket account holders regarding applicable refunds and/or credits to their season ticket accounts.”
According to an update offered by The Weather Channel at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Ida could slam into the northern Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane by Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Saturday’s game was set to be the first since Saints head coach Sean Payton reportedly named Jameis Winston his starting quarterback over Taysom Hill for the regular-season opener against the Green Bay Packers currently scheduled to be played inside the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans on Sept. 12.