$450 million Superdome renovations approved

The+Mercedes-Benz+Superdome+on+Poydras+Street+on+Nov.+14.+The+Louisiana+Stadium+and+Entertainment+District+approved+a+%24450+million+renovation+plan.+Photo+credit%3A+Sam+Lucio+Photo+credit%3A+Sam+Lucio
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$450 million Superdome renovations approved

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Poydras Street on Nov. 14. The Louisiana Stadium and Entertainment District approved a $450 million renovation plan. Photo credit: Sam Lucio Photo credit: Sam Lucio

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Poydras Street on Nov. 14. The Louisiana Stadium and Entertainment District approved a $450 million renovation plan. Photo credit: Sam Lucio Photo credit: Sam Lucio

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Poydras Street on Nov. 14. The Louisiana Stadium and Entertainment District approved a $450 million renovation plan. Photo credit: Sam Lucio Photo credit: Sam Lucio

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Poydras Street on Nov. 14. The Louisiana Stadium and Entertainment District approved a $450 million renovation plan. Photo credit: Sam Lucio Photo credit: Sam Lucio

Sam Lucio

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The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District has approved a contract to begin renovations on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The contract has been given to local construction company Broadmoor LLC and will total around $450 million. The renovations are said to be broken up into separate phases with the first phase set to begin in January 2020. All renovations are said to be completed by 2024, the year the city of New Orleans will host the Super Bowl.

“This is a significant step in keeping the Saints here for another 30 years,” said Kyle M. France, LSED Commission Chair.

Financing for the project will be split between the LSED, the New Orleans Saints and the state of Louisiana. The LSED will contribute $210 million, the Saints will contribute $150 million and the state of Louisiana will provide $90 million, which the LSED said they are still waiting to receive although Governor John Bel Edwards has reassured France about the State’s commitment to the Superdome.

With the renovations, the fan experience is said to be drastically improved with “modernized amenities, improved operational efficiencies while maintaining the building’s architectural characteristics” once all of the renovations are completed. The 44-year-old stadium’s largest face-lift will see its indoor ramps removed allowing the Superdome to have “an open and airy feeling.” New escalators and elevators will also be built improving the time it takes fans to reach their seats. Other planned renovations include the current clubs and suites being expanded, new and improved food and beverage services, new entry gates and new seating opportunities for disabled guests.

“The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is iconic and an enduring symbol of our state’s success,” said France, “We have a responsibility to not only uphold that reputation, but also to ensure its viability in the future.

The planned renovations are not only meant to increase the fan experience, which is already ranked in the top five in the NFL according to France, but to also increase the economic impact that the Merced-Benz Superdome has on the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana as a whole. The Superdome, according to an LSED study, has a $585 million economic impact on the state of Louisiana with around $19 million in taxes generated, 5 thousand full-time jobs, 400 events annually and 2 million attendees.

“By investing in a state-of-the art facility, we are investing in future economic growth for Louisiana and the region,” said Edwards.

Renovations for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be scheduled around the Saint’s season schedules and other major events like the Sugar Bowl every year, the 2020 NCAA football National Championship and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2022.

The New Orleans Saints’ current lease with the Superdome runs through 2025 and with these renovations, Edwards and France hope to increase the lease another 15 years with a 15-year option attached.

“I could not be more proud to work together with our state and local leadership to ensure the long-term viability of the stadium and the team,” said Gayle Benson, Saints owner, “I look forward to bringing that commitment to them for the long term.”

The meeting on Thursday not only approved the renovation for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but also approved the relocation of the NOLA Gold Rugby team to The Shrine on Airline.

The Baby Cakes plan to move to Kansas in the summer and their lease is set to run out in 2021. The NOLA Gold are now set to play at least eight games in The Shrine on Airline and the LSED approved funding to sod the turf appropriate for a rugby to play on.

“We’re hopeful we can triple attendance,” said Tim Falcon, owner of NOLA Gold, “we’re just excited to be there.”

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