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Superdome Renovation, Saints Lease Extension Talks Progressing

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Discussions continue on a proposed Mercedes-Benz Superdome renovation and a long-term lease extension with the New Orleans Saints, according to Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards.

Major upgrades to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome have been discussed for a few years, and a plan is in the works to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the facility over a multi-year renovation. Under a framework that surfaced in May, the Saints, state, and Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) would all make financial contributions to a project estimated at $450 million. Funding for the project would include $150 million from the Saints, $207 million from LSED, and a remaining $93 million from the state.

Discussions are also taking place about extending the Saints lease for the Superdome, which currently runs until 2025. According to comments that Edwards made this week, the potential lease extension could involve an initial 15-year commitment from the franchise, “with framework in place” for another 15 years. His comments came at the team’s training camp on Monday, ahead of a key Louisiana State Bonding Commission vote on financing for renovations that is expected to take place Thursday. More from the AP:

Edwards, who attended Saints training camp on Monday, says lease talks are running in conjunction with plans for “extensive and needed” Superdome renovations….

Edwards says newly planned renovations would take about four years and that lease talks are centered on an initial 15-year commitment “with framework in place” for an additional 15 years.

The Louisiana State Bond Commission is scheduled to consider approval of about $500 million in financing for the project on Thursday.

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.

Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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