"I could be in the nosebleeds. It doesn't matter," he said just a few hours before kickoff.
Marsalis was one of a number of celebrities and musicians with a ticket for the first true regular season home game for the Saints since the 2004 season -- the grand reopening of the dome after Hurricane Katrina.
Harry Connick Jr. decided at the last minute to attend the game. Connick and Marsalis were in town checking on the progress of the Musicians Village, a Habitat for Humanity project launched in December to provide affordable housing for the city's musicians and others who lost their homes in Katrina's flooding.
"There's a certain level of symbolism involved," Marsalis said. "This is just one huge symbol of the city returning to some sort of normalcy."
At halftime, Spike Lee, who directed "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," a documentary about Katrina, shook hands with players on the field.
Musical performances by rock bands The Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day and U2 added to the hype.
It wasn't the first performance for U2 at a football game in the Superdome. The Irish band played during the 2002 Super Bowl halftime show to commemorate the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The band's guitarist, The Edge, has worked to help the city's musicians since Katrina struck. He is one of the founding members of Music Rising, a charity launched to provide replacement instruments to more than 2,000 musicians who lost theirs in the flooding.