The Saints lost Sunday — but after the game, a lot of fans say they were hit with a double whammy.
Getting out of the Caesars Superdome proved to be challenging — and many felt it rose to the level of a safety hazard, given the pandemic and the crowd size.
Fans were forced to use newly constructed staircases to exit the dome — not the usual ramps or escalators.
“It was, it was chaos,” said Christian Moises, a Saints fan.
He was in the Terrance — the highest section inside the stadium — and says it took him about 45-50 minutes just to get outside.
“Some were wearing masks, some not. It causes concern for safety … and it’s also a communication thing — why was this not communicated?” Moises said.
Other fans have taken to social media.
One fan wrote on Twitter, “We waited 30 minutes after the game ended to try and leave an the congestion in the stairways was still awful.”
Another wrote, “Exits from the dome were awful. We were crammed together like sardines with lots of jostling and bumping because of the tight quarters. Awful.”
It comes as the dome is undergoing a $400 million dollar renovation.
Part of that will include work on the historic ramps, which — along with escalators — were not used Sunday according to fans as they exited.
Fans just hope the shaky start to the season can be fixed for upcoming home games.
“As season ticket holders, we get emails and texts all the time and with 70,000 people — just communicate it better and announce, this is the change, this is how you now get out of your section,” Moises said.
A spokesperson for the Louisiana Fire Marshal says they are aware of the pictures taken inside the Superdome and are looking into the situation.
A City Hall spokesperson declined to comment.
ASM Global, the group that manages the Superdome for the state said:
“Yesterday’s game was the first played inside the Caesars Superdome with a capacity crowd since the new exit stairs were constructed in 2020, and we are aware that some patrons experienced delays and congestion as they exited the stadium at the conclusion of overtime. The new exit stairs were constructed to accommodate the removal of the old ramp system as part of the ongoing renovations. The stairs are located at each of the four corners of the stadium and designed with the same exit capacity as the old ramp system and to disperse the crowd from the centrally located escalators. The stairs actually offer a shorter travel distance when compared to the ramps.
“We understand that many Saints fans may not be familiar with the new circulation and egress patterns of the Caesars Superdome, given the ongoing renovations. Therefore, throughout the season we will continue to educate fans on these and other conditions that may impact the guest experience, while also providing supplemental signage and extra staff to assist during all events.”