Cars flooded the parking lot at the Shrine on Airline on Saturday morning. I pulled up around 8:30 a.m. and the lot already was filled halfway.
You could hear music blasting through the wooded area between the parking lot and the New Orleans Saints practice facility. You would’ve thought there was a new festival added to the already loaded calendar with the continuous stream of people walking along the road.
Then you turn the corner by the Pelicans gym and a sea of Who Dat humanity joyously waited to watch football practice. Not a game. Practice.
More than 3,500 patrons filed in despite a rainy forecast. They wanted to welcome the Saints back home for a full schedule of training camp practice for the first time since 2013.
Somehow the Saints transformed a practice session into an “event.”
Maybe the fact you need a ticket to get in to practice created an atmosphere of intrigue. If you need a ticket it must be more important, right? Regardless, there was a confluence of Saints fans clamoring to watch practice despite the team’s lack of national hype heading into the 2017 season.
And having the players in full pads for the first time this offseason in this first open training camp session probably added a nice caveat for fans to give the team’s website some extra traffic to secure tickets.
“I make it out here with my wife as much as we can,” Ben Duet said. “We couldn’t make it up to the Greenbrier being that we both work in education. So it would be rough for us to get up there, and it’s still rough for us to try to get to practice during the week. So this is perfect. We came to training camp back in 2013…
click here to read the rest of this story