The New Orleans Saints could call the Mercedes-Benz Superdome home through 2035, as a proposed lease extension with $450 million in renovations is gaining traction with Louisiana officials.
Discussions have been taking place for a few years about potential Mercedes-Benz Superdome renovations, and a proposal to move those plans forward is taking shape. As part of the terms being discussed, the Saints would extend their current lease agreement that expires in 2025 by 10 years, effectively keeping them at the Superdome through at least 2035.
Renovations would be a major part of that plan, with the Saints, state, and the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED)–the board that oversees the Superdome–all contributing funds to the $450 million project. Over four rounds of renovations, the Superdome would be modernized in several areas, with enhanced entry lobbies, additional escalators in place of existing ramps, expanded concourses, end-zone corner standing-room decks, a new visitors’ locker room, and other upgrades among the possible changes.
Renovations could begin as soon as January, but state bond commission approval of the proposed public-private funding plan is one of the crucial tasks that has to be finalized. More from The Times-Picayune:
The costs for the project will be shared by the LSED ($207 million), Saints ($150 million) and state ($93 million) in a creative funding plan that still needs to be approved by the state bond commission.
Officials presented the plan to State treasurer John Schroder last Friday (April 26) and plan to make similar presentations to members of the bond commission before its next meeting on May 16.
Saints president Dennis Lauscha said that unlike previous Dome renovations that added revenue-generating suites that bolstered the team’s bottom line, this overhaul is focused on keeping an old stadium relevant in a league dominated by new, state-of-the-art venues.
“The building has to be modernized so we can improve the fan experience,” Saints president Dennis Lauscha said. “This is basically a wash for us financially.”
The proposal would not only secure a longer-term commitment with the Saints, but could keep the currently 44-year-old Superdome competitive in drawing major events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four. Under the proposed timeline, construction crews would work to wrap up the renovations ahead of the Superdome’s next turn at hosting the Super Bowl in February 2024.
Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz Superdome.