NFL

Saints-Cardinals NFL pre-season game cancelled due to Hurricane Ida

By Sports Desk August 27, 2021

Saturday's scheduled NFL pre-season game between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals has been cancelled as Hurricane Ida churns into the Gulf of Mexico. 

The Saints announced Friday afternoon they had called off the game at the request of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

They had previously moved the game up from a scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff Saturday to noon local time in an attempt to get it in ahead of the storm. 

"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 said.

The Cardinals were en route to New Orleans when the game was cancelled, and online flight-tracking services showed the team plane turned around over Texas to head back to Phoenix. 

The team confirmed on social media they were returning home, adding: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those preparing for Hurricane Ida."

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) update on the storm shortly after the cancellation was announced projected Ida would make landfall on the Louisiana coast as a major hurricane – meaning it would have sustained winds exceeding 110 miles per hour – by Sunday afternoon. 

"Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it reaches the coast of Louisiana," the NHC said. "Hurricane-force winds are expected Sunday in portions of the hurricane warning area along the Louisiana coast, including metropolitan New Orleans, with potentially catastrophic wind damage possible where the core of Ida moves onshore. Actions to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in the warning area."

The cancellation was announced while Edwards was in the middle of a news conference encouraging Louisiana residents to take the storm seriously. 

"I did not believe it was appropriate for an NFL pre-season game to take place on Saturday afternoon," he said. 

Sunday is the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's devastating landfall in Louisiana. 

The Saints will open the regular season at home against the Green Bay Packers on September 12, with the Cardinals travelling to the Tennessee Titans for their opener that day.

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