The New Orleans Saints Used Expedia To Pick Jacksonville For Their Home Opener

The New Orleans Saints had to find a new place to play their ‘home opener’ against the Green Bay Packers. They chose Jacksonville, Florida of all place. And it’s thanks in part to Expedia. The online travel agency site helped them figure out that this would be the toughest and most expensive city for Packers fans to get to.

They needed a stadium available on Sunday (moving to Saturday would have conflicted with TV broadcast needs), a stadium wired for “replay communication to the league offices in New York” and that didn’t have someone else using it.

Florida quickly became a target. Not only were all three of the league’s home stadiums available on opening weekend but the Sunshine State’s legendary heat and humidity would theoretically provide a home-field advantage for the Saints, who were accustomed to practicing in triple-digit heat indices at their Metairie training camp. Aaron Rodgers’ career 3-4 record and pedestrian 78.1 passer rating in the state did not go unnoticed.

From there, consideration was given to which location offered the most potential for a home-field advantage.

They looked at Tampa, Miami, and… Jacksonville. And that’s when they hit on a tie-breaker. Which city would be harder and more expensive for Green Bay Packers fans to get to?

They had a staffer look up Green Bay flights on Expedia and compare the difference in costs and itineraries between Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa. Predictably, Jacksonville was the most difficult and costly destination for Packers fans.

The Cheese Heads still might migrate south for the game, but the Saints certainly didn’t want to make things an easier for Packer Nation to make the trip.

The New Orleans Saints used Expedia correctly – for research, but almost never to make an actual booking.

(HT: Dan R.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Isn’t Jacksonville also the hardest of the three for Saints fans too? Unless they think storm-weary Saints fans will drive the 8 hours each way to the game?

  2. @swag, the #whodat nation will show up in Antarctica if required. Many are currently in FL already as a result of Ida. #geauxsaints

  3. @TheBigEasy

    It’s not like the Packers fanbase is known for being unquestioningly loyal to their co-op owned team at all. They’re more fair weathered friends than anything. They’d never do anything irrational in the course of attending a game.

  4. Well, they surely never seriously considered Tampa. You just don’t schedule a “home” game in the stadium of a divisional rival that knocked you out of the playoffs last season.

  5. Can confirm. I once flew CDG-ATL in Y the Monday after the Saints played Wembley. The flight was full of fans heading home to New Orleans. They were polite, but took up quite a lot of volume. I can only imagine how the more direct itineraries were.

  6. The dude used Expedia? Expedia? You had to draft a winner airfare search engine to conduct research, Expedia would be last to get picked.

  7. News this morning reporting that the special flight(s) from Green Bay to New Orleans on UA have been changed to Jacksonville.

  8. @Gary – it’s well known they originally wanted to go to Dallas (where they practiced last week, and Sean Payton’s kids live IIRC), but AT&T was unavailable due to a concert

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