Major changes are coming to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, as the initial phase of a multiyear $450-million renovation is getting underway.
The New Orleans Saints, along with the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) and facility manager ASM Global, have been mapping out an elaborate renovation to the Superdome. It is expected that once it is completed, the renovation will yield more premium and social spaces while making the stadium easier to navigate and improving concessions options. The amenities expected to come as a result of the project include new vertical atriums in the northeast, northwest and southeast corners of the Superdome; field-level end zone boxes (such as the one shown in the rendering above); concourse improvements; new standing-room-only areas; and more.
Construction will take place over multiple years and is currently scheduled to be complete by the time the Superdome hosts Super Bowl LVIII in 2024. The Superdome closed in January for six months to accommodate the first round of construction, which is already having its effect on the stadium. Earlier this month, the Saints announced that their Hall of Fame Museum is closing “until further notice” to clear the way for renovation work at Gate B, with the museum to eventually reopen with more space and new exhibits at a nearby location. That came after construction crews removed the field last month.
According to information from a Superdome official last month, the first phase of the renovation will include the removal of large ramps, a step that clears the way for an expanded concourse and additional concession options. More from KALB:
“It involves the east and west ramps, which will consist of the main ramps at G and C,” said Superdome Communications Director Mike Hoss, with ASM/LSED.
The removal of the massive ramps will pave the way for expanded concourses and concession areas, which are expected to be a big improvement for the movement of people and concession sales down there.
Hoss says there are no pre-determined phases. He says the work will be done, under a process called ‘C-mar’, which will involve the architect and contractor working together to do the work whenever possible, given the demands of dome event schedules.
“If the Saints are on a two-week road trip in an open week, and there’s stuff that can get done, it will get done,” said Hoss.
For the Superdome, the renovations are significant in a number of ways. They will make the stadium a more viable home for the Saints going forward, while modernizing it ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2025.
Furthermore, there is extra pressure on local and state officials to upgrade the Superdome’s amenities for events such as the Final Four and the Super Bowl, given how the NFL stadium landscape has changed in recent years. Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium and Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium have been draws for major events since their respective openings in 2016 and 2017, while the ante will be upped even further when SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas are completed later this year. Combine that with recent upgrades to Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium and Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium, and well-maintained facilities such as Arizona’s State Farm Stadium and Dallas’s AT&T Stadium, and it is clear that the Superdome faces a high level of competition for those events.
The renovations will unfold over the coming years and should be entirely completed by the time the Super Bowl returns in 2024, the first time it will be staged at the Superdome since 2013. In the meantime, construction at Mercedes-Benz Superdome is well underway, an early step in a process that should drastically change the storied facility.
Rendering courtesy Trahan Architects.
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