In Reversal, New Orleans Saints Will Allow Refunds for Unvaccinated Ticket Holders

The New Orleans Saints said Thursday that they would offer refunds to unvaccinated fans with tickets for the upcoming NFL season, quickly changing a policy they had announced earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the Saints said they wouldn't refund fans who won't comply with this year's COVID-19 regulations. Those who want to attend games will either have to be vaccinated or provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Saints officials suggested that fans that didn't plan on complying with the rules sell their tickets on a third-party website.

But in a statement on Thursday, the team said it would offer refunds this season.

"We have received less than 120 requests for ticket refunds as of Thursday morning and, following media inquiries and recent articles about refund policies, we have received thousands of calls from interested fans wanting to purchase any season tickets made available by current season ticket holders seeking refunds," the statement said.

New Orleans Saints Allow Refunds
On Thursday, the New Orleans Saints said they would refund unvaccinated fans with tickets to home games this season, reversing a policy announced earlier this week. Above, Saints player Easop Winston Jr. carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens on August 14, 2021, in Baltimore, Maryland. Scott Taetsch

"Our preference is to have these loyal fans in the seats rather than see these additional tickets be made available to visiting fans via the secondary market," it continued.

The team says those seeking refunds have an August 24 deadline.

"At their request, we will cancel their accounts and provide a refund," the statement says.

The team said that it will work to "expedite this process" given that the football season is slated to begin next week.

Earlier this month, the team announced that it would be able to fill its stadium, Caesars Superdome, which seats roughly 75,000, this season.

Last season, the team decided to offer refunds, or "rollover accounts to the following season," because it knew "government regulations would not allow us to fulfill a full season of attendance," they said in the statement

In response to the announcement earlier this week that the Saint's wouldn't allow refunds, the Louisiana attorney general, Jeff Landry, criticized the decision.

"Completely unacceptable,@Saints! Taxpayers should not continue to fund your projects with policies like this. I call on @LATreasury and my fellow Bond Commission members to oppose any request for the Dome until these ticket holders are refunded or given ability to opt out," he wrote on Twitter.