July 2, 2010 - Amazing Superdome Upgrades and Improvements
Currently wrapping up the Post-Katrina restorations to the building, the exterior of the Superdome is being outfitted in shiny, new “skin” bringing the building back to its original luster of light bronze. Underneath the new skin will be a "rainscreen" weather-proofing that shields and controls water penetration.
Also underway is the installation of two (2) private escalators located on the exterior Plaza Level. These escalators will provide direct access to the St. Charles & Iberville Club Lounges located on the 200-Level. These new escalators will be operational for the upcoming football season.
State Funded Improvements
A critical component of the recently finalized 15 year extension of the New Orleans Saints contract at the Superdome was the State’s funding of $85 million for various improvements that will result in a much enhanced customer experience at the Dome as well as providing opportunities for the Saints and the Dome to generate additional revenues. These improvements will be completed in two phases following the 2009 and 2010 football seasons.
Phase 1 – To be completed August 2010
Projects in Phase I of the Superdome improvement plan include relocating the press box from the 300-level to the 700-level, thus allowing for the addition of 15 new luxury suites on the 300 suite level.
In addition, the Saints Locker Room is getting a facelift and will be expanded to nearly triple its current size. As well, the Saints Team Store, currently located between Gates A and H, will be moved between Gates A and B in the former YMCA location. The team store will be accessible via the Plaza concourse on Saints game days and from the exterior Plaza at other times. The new team store will be much larger to accommodate more shoppers and merchandise.
Phase 2 – To be completed by July 2011
Once the 2010 football season has concluded, the Louisiana Superdome will close for a marathon of upgrades scheduled to be completed before Essence Music Festival in July of 2011.
The Plaza level (100-Level) concourse will be widened from 18 feet to 60 feet in certain areas. This will improve the flow of pedestrian traffic and allow for more concession options and restrooms.
The existing Plaza (100-level) east and west side stands will be reconfigured, moving seats closer to the action on the field as well as providing 3,100 additional prime seats for fans.
Two new premium club lounges will be constructed underneath the east and west side plaza stands. These premium lounges will feature high-end furnishings, a private bar and dining options as well as direct access from the parking garage. Patrons will be able to access their plaza-level seats straight from the premium club lounges under the stands.
A grand staircase entrance connecting the new festival plaza (see below) to the Gate C entrance to the Superdome will create a dramatic “Gateway” that is sure to complement both the Superdome and new plaza. The new staircase will replace the former bridge connecting the Superdome to the old New Orleans Centre mall.. A temporary staircase will be in place for the 2010 season.
Outdoor Festival Space
While not part of the two-phase State funded improvements, the former New Orleans Centre is also undergoing a major facelift. A 70,000 square foot outdoor festival area for pre and post event activity, as well as stand alone events, is being crafted where the glass atrium of the New Orleans Centre once stood. This incredible addition to the New Orleans entertainment scene will be activated in time for the 2010 football season with additional refinements to take place over the next few years.
With an unprecedented line-up of major sporting events, all eyes will be on the Louisiana Superdome in the upcoming years. The Superdome will play host to the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the 2012 Allstate BCS Championship Game, and the 2013 Super Bowl. The building will be transformed through major upgrades and improvements to become better than ever and still a legendary, state of the art powerhouse of activity.