As part of a four-year masterplan, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is to undergo a US$450m facelift that will update and transform the iconic domed stadium.
With the Saints’ lease due to expire in 2025 and the naming rights deal with Mercedes-Benz ending in 2021, the future of the team’s home has been up-in-the-air for a number of years. With the estimated US$2bn to build a new stadium a far too expensive option, the long-term solution to update the existing facility has been given the go-ahead.
Trahan Architects have designed the makeover proposals and Broadmoor LLC will manage the first phase. The 44-year-old Superdome will begin the first phase of the works in January 2020, which will involve replacing its famous ramp walkways that spiral round the interior of the venue with escalators and elevators.
Club and suite levels will be expanded, new entry gates installed, disabled access improved and concessions stand numbers increased. To further increase food and beverage facilities by building a commissary in one of its parking lots.
There is also the plan to relocate the main entrance of the Superdome to allow fans to walk into the venue from street level, rather than from an upper plaza level.
Critical to the commencement of work is funding, and the State Bond Commission has given the Mercedes-Benz Superdome operators to sell up to US$350m in bonds to raise money for the project. The state will contribute US$90m if needed, while the Saints will stump up around a third of the overall cost.
All four phases of the renovations are expected to be completed before the Superdome is scheduled to host Super Bowl LVIII in 2024. But, more importantly for fans and the city, the upgrades will be key towards a deal that will keep the team at the venue until 2035, with the option to extend to 2055.