Contract approved to start $450 million Superdome overhaul

Geaux Black and Gold

FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2008, file photo, color lights play on the Louisiana Superdome at twilight before the BCS championship college football game in New Orleans. The state board that oversees Louisiana’s Superdome approved a contract Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, for the first phase of a $450 million renovation of the 44-year-old New Orleans landmark. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The state board that oversees Louisiana’s Superdome approved a contract Thursday for the first phase of a $450 million renovation of the 44-year-old New Orleans landmark that became a symbol of the city’s rebirth following Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Saints fans cheer in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

The unanimous vote by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District was to approve a $53 million contract for initial work on the stadium upgrade.
The renovations will be the most extensive since 2005, when the dome became a last-resort haven for thousands of Hurricane Katrina’s victims despite being heavily damaged.

This combination of Aug. 30, 2005 and July 29, 2015 aerial photos shows downtown New Orleans and the Superdome flooded by Hurricane Katrina and the same area a decade later. Katrina’s powerful winds and driving rain bore down on Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005. The storm caused major damage to the Gulf Coast from Texas to central Florida while powering a storm surge that breached the system of levees that were built to protect New Orleans from flooding. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Gerald Herbert)

The upgrade is seen as a key element in getting a new long-term commitment from the Saints to keep the NFL franchise in New Orleans, and to attract future Super Bowls and other major events.

New Orleans Saints cheerleaders perform before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The state is to cover $90 million of the project cost. The Saints are to put up $150 million and the district is to pay $210 million.
Broadmoor LLC, a New Orleans area contractor, won the contract for the first-phase work that is to begin in January. The complete renovation is expected to take about four years to complete, with work planned around NFL seasons, major college football games and other major events, including the annual Essence Festival.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) warms up before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The dome has been the home of the New Orleans Saints since opening in 1975.

Included in the first phase of the upcoming renovation will be removal of some 80,000 square feet (7,430 square meters) of broad concrete ramps. That will make way for installation of new stairways and elevators.
Future changes include expanded, remodeled concourses and end-zone field-level seating.

The Superdome renovations are part of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ efforts for a new state contract with the Saints aimed at keeping the team in New Orleans through 2015.

(Story via The Associated Press)

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