Packers-Saints opener moved to Jacksonville

The Green Bay Packers won’t have to play in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL but will now have to line-up in one of the hottest.

Due to the impact of Hurricane Ida, the NFL moved the Packers and Saints season-opener out of New Orleans and into Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Stadium on Sept. 12 at 3:25 p.m.

General manager Brian Gutekunst said they were made aware of the change Wednesday morning and had really no say in where the game was held. He joked they would have preferred the game be played in Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

It’s the second straight season the team won’t have to contend with the noisy Superdome. Due to the pandemic, there were a minimal number of fans allowed into the stadium when they played there in Week 3 last season. In fact, the move to Jacksonville could give Green Bay a bit of an advantage as there is a strong contingent of Packers fans in the area. On the negative side of things, the mid-day heat in northern Florida will make life miserable.

“It’s hard to simulate that kind of heat,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “Our guys are going to have to do a great job of hydrating and taking care of their bodies all week.”

The Packers last played in Jacksonville in the 2016 season opener when they beat the Jaguars 27-23.