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NOLA Superdome Reno Plans Completion for 2024

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

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The Louisiana State Bond Commission has unanimously approved borrowing plans for the $450 million renovation of the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The project plans to keep the National Football League’s Saints in the area for decades to come.

Superdome History

Opened in August of 1975, the Superdome hosts 73,208 seats and is an iconic stadium to locals, NFL fans, designers and architects alike.

Daniel Schwen, CC-BY-SA-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Louisiana State Bond Commission has unanimously approved borrowing plans for the $450 million renovation of the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

In 2005, the Dome became a “Refuge of Last Resort” for 30,000 evacuees seeking shelter from Hurricane Katrina. After the natural disaster, the stadium received $376 million for major repairs and was closed for 13 months while the renovations took place, reopening in September 2006 for a Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons.

In 2010, the stadium received a closed-cell spray polyurethane foam together with a hybrid polyurea-polyurethane elastomeric topcoat in attempts to restore the exterior, as well as provide insulation and waterproofing.

Later, in 2013, PaintSquare Daily News reported on the stadium’s use of Pioneer Athletics’ waterborne paint for the then-upcoming Super Bowl. The paint was specially delivered so that it wouldn’t freeze during shipment and was rated safe for grass and ground water.

By 2016, the Superdome received $40 million for the addition of large video boards, constructed behind each end zone. And in 2017, a $422,000 master plan for the renovation was conducted by San Francisco-based architects Gensler Sports. Since the original plan, officials have reduced the scope of the project in efforts to bring down costs.

The Project

To cover the cost of the renovation, a borrowing repayment plan is being split between the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District ($210 million), the Saints ($150 million) and the state of Louisiana ($90 million). The plan was approved on Aug. 15 by the Commission’s panel of statewide elected officials and lawmakers.

Although lawmakers are still determining how the state will cover its share, the LSED plans on covering its portion of renovation costs through local hotel taxes that have been dedicated to operations and revenue it receives from facility events.

According to previous reports, the first of the four-phase renovation involves the removal of 80,000 square feet of interior ramps and installation of new elevators and escalators. The estimated cost for this portion of the project is $100 million.

More upgrades to be tackled in the following phases include: completely remodeled lobby entrances, new east and west sideline club lounges, expanded luxury box suites, new endzone field level box suites, a plaza expansion, new end-zone standing areas, a new visiting team locker room as well as an expanded team store, retail spaces and a Saints Hall of Fame.

The LSED has already approved local firm Broadmoor Construction LLC to serve on the preconstruction phase as the construction manager at risk. Broadmoor was chosen after LSED reviewed bids from four other competitors in April.

Construction is slated to begin in January 2020 with most work being completed during the next four Saints off-seasons. However, the stadium is still likely to host the College Football Playoff National Championship title game in 2020 and the NCAA Final Four in 2022.

Newest Project Reports

After several months of improvement discussions for the Superdome, the borrowing plan has been finalized.

“I appreciate the Bond Commission’s support for this project, which I believe is necessary to keep the Superdome competitive for decades to come,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The state has committed $90 million to this project, over the course of several years, and I am confident we will be able to meet this obligation.”

According to Doug Thornton, a New Orleans-based executive for SMG, which manages the Superdome, the project is expected to be complete before hosting the 2024 Super Bowl.

In addition to announcing a project completion goal, Edwards declared that ongoing negotiations for a new state contract with the Saints that could extend through 2050 were still in the works as well. The current contract—negotiated by former Gov. Bobby Jindalonly—only runs through 2025.

“We’re 100% committed to this market, 100% committed to this state. We want to be here,” said Dennis Lauscha, the President of Business Operations for the Saints, speaking on behalf of team owner Gayle Benson, who also owns the National Basketball Association's New Orleans Pelicans team.

Seeking reelection for a second term in the fall, Edwards is trying to establish a new 15-year deal with the Saints, with a 15-year extension option. However, terms of the administration’s renegotiations are unclear at this time.


Tagged categories: Commercial / Architectural; Commercial Construction; Commercial contractors; Contractors; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Renovation; Stadiums/Sports Facilities; Upcoming projects

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