Sports | August 4, 2020 10:02 am

Saints to Use Hotel as Optional “Bubble” for NFL Training Camp

New Orleans estimates 150 of the Saints' 180 employees will quarantine at the property

Saints to Use Hotel as Optional "Bubble" for NFL Training Camp
The New Orleans Saints logo on the field at the Superdome. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty)
Getty Images

To help keep their players from avoiding some of the issues that have sidelined clubs in Major League Baseball, the Saints are renting out four floors of a hotel in New Orleans for the team to use as an optional “bubble” during training camp.

With team owner Gayle Benson paying the bill, Saints players, staff and other New Orleans personnel will have the option of staying at the Loews Hotel until the NFL season opens starting on Wednesday.

Head coach Sean Payton, who has fully recovered after testing positive for COVID-19, estimated that 150 of the team’s 180 employees will quarantine at the Loews.

“It’s a sequester,” Payton told NBC Sports over the weekend. “The message from the league is, ‘The show must go on.’ If so, we’ve got to do everything we can to be sure that happens. It’s like creating a game plan with a likelihood of success. We’re just trying to increase the odds of success.”

The Saints have been trying to come up with innovative ways to combat the virus throughout the offseason, including canceling spring workouts and using a brewery as a war room during April’s NFL draft.

No members of the Saints have tested positive for coronavirus since testing began last week and players have until Thursday to opt-out of the upcoming season. The team cut its roster down to 80 players over the weekend, and New Orleans began strength and conditioning work on Monday.

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