New Orleans Superdome renovations move a step closer

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State officials have approved funding for a US$400,000 diagnostic architectural survey of the Superdome, as they continue to explore the possibility of another major renovation of New Orleans’ iconic 42-year-old stadium.

Non-destructive digital imaging of the stadium’s walls and floors will help officials determine the scope and cost of a potential renovation – New Orleans-based Trahan Architects will perform the work over the next two months before delivering a report to officials this summer.

“We’re trying to investigate the existing conditions [in the building]to determine what may be possible in the future,” said Doug Thornton, executive vice president of stadiums and arenas for SMG, the company that manages the Superdome for the state of Mississippi. “This phase will help us determine what we can do in the building, in terms of the structure and the electrical and mechanical systems.”

San Francisco-based Gensler Architects submitted an architectural masterplan in January, proposing several options for modernizing the Superdome and increasing revenue streams for its anchor tenant, the Saints. Suggestions included removal of the interior pedestrian ramps; installation of glazed windows to some parts of the Dome’s existing sides; installation of field-level bunker suites; and improving parts of the terrace seating. Depending on the scope, the price tag for the potential renovation ranges from US$150m to US$500m.

“There’s a lot of ideas on how to improve the building,” Thornton said. “Gensler is involved internationally with a lot of major projects. You combine their expertise with Trahan’s knowledge of the building and you come up with a lot of great imagination.”

The Superdome underwent a multi-phase US$376m renovation in 2005, after being damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

April 4, 2018

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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