Renovations for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome followed Louisiana State University’s national championship win against the Clemson Tigers. On Jan. 14, the process began with removing the field where the Saints and LSU played.
Superdome Communications Director Mike Hoss said that the stadium that opened in 1975 has “a whole other life” following renovations.
“The renovations will allow us and the Superdome to have a lot of those amenities that many of the new stadiums have but maintain its character,” Hoss said.
In the $450 million renovation, the Saints contributed $150 million, Louisiana Stadium and Exposition gave $210 million, while the state of Louisiana committed $90 million, according to Hoss.
The main goal for the project is to make the inside of the dome a more open space. Compared to the current layout, Hoss said the biggest change will be the removal of 80,000 square feet of ramps on the East and West side of the dome.
“We will be able to remove those ramps and it will enable you to have much longer concourse to make you feel more open and airy,” He said. “We will add escalators to where you want to go.”
A new amenity fans can look forward to in the future is what Hoss calls “standing room holding decks.”
“They are like mini clubs where they don’t necessarily have a seat, but you can watch the game; it’s like you are at a bar,” he said.
According to Hoss, the changes of the dome will not take away from its distinguishable characteristics.
“Nobody wants to take away from what makes the Superdome,” he said.” The Supedome, we just want it to be more competitive and a little nicer.”
In the meantime, the dome will continue to host events around the project or relocate them to other venues like the Smoothie King Center.
Mannings Sports Bar and Grill General Manager Damien Harvey isn’t worried about the renovations impact on their game day business.
“Whether the Saints go to the playoffs or not, we do want them to, but as long as they’re winning the energy will stay up and we will be fine,” Damien Harvey.
Dome officials expect renovations to wrap up by the next New Orleans hosted Super Bowl in 2024.