Mercedes-Benz SuperdomeWhen Alabama defeated Penn State in 1975 in the Superdome, the game launched a new era for the Sugar Bowl, one that has tracked through more than three decades of legendary games, coaches and athletes, and one that projects well into the foreseeable future.
Official Superdome Website
In October, the Superdome wrapped up the most recent round of renovations since Hurricane Katrina - an $85 million effort capped by the unveiling of the eye-catching lighting capabilities which make the building an even more vivid highlight of the Big Easy skyline. This brings the total amount spent on renovations to $336 million since 2006.
The Superdome stands as one of America's architectural marvels and has now emerged as Louisiana's most recognizable landmark. In August, 2005, the whole world saw what happened here when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. The image of the Superdome with its torn roof, surrounded by flood waters, was a lasting one.
Now that image has transcended into a symbol of the recovery of the city-the rebuilt Superdome with its gleaming white roof and its fabulous night-time glow poised on the threshold of downtown. Those who doubted that it could be done-that the Dome and the city could come back-now see a 9-acre round billboard that has a clear message. The Superdome and New Orleans are back big time.
Following the biggest rebuilding project ever attempted in a major stadium, Sept. 25, 2006, has become a significant date in the history of an historic city. The reopening of the Superdome, with the Saints playing on Monday Night Football, launched a citywide celebration. It was watched by millions on television and provided a lifetime memory for everyone who was present.
They discovered a new Superdome sporting a fresh look with contemporary color schemes, dazzling graphics, state-of-the-art LED video boards and scoreboards, hundreds of flat-screen TVs, bigger and better concession stands, and remodeled suites and reception rooms. The work on the upgrades continued through the 2011 off-season.
The reopening of the Superdome began a successful run of sports and entertainment unprecedented in New Orleans, before or after Hurricane Katrina, with Sugar Bowls, Allstate BCS National Championships, the NCAA Men's and Women's Final Fours and an NFL Super Bowl.
The Sugar Bowl has played a vital role as it has for several decades, attracting visitors and national media to the city and keeping New Orleans in the minds of millions.
THE FINAL PIECES
The final pieces of the effort to bring the Superdome to a level equivalent to that of the best stadiums in the nation were completed in the offseason of 2011. In mid-October, Mercedes-Benz was officially announced as the naming-rights partner of the building and the LED lighting system was introduced to the city.
Champions Square has been transformed into a true pedestrian mall with the addition of brick pavers in the Square and on LaSalle Street, trees and benches. As well, the installation of a permanent grand staircase complete with brick pavers leading to Gate C of the Superdome is the finishing touch.
A permanent Grand Staircase has been installed and features brick pavers. The top of Gate C has been widened to allow for easy access and accommodate patron flow to the Exterior Plaza Level of the Superdome. The center portion of the Grand Staircase provides an area for patrons to sit and enjoy food and drinks with a fantastic view of the entertainment on the main stage in Champions Square.
Expansion of Plaza (100 Level) Concourse
The expanded Plaza (100 Level) concourse features additional restrooms and additional concession points of sale as well as updated finishes: lighting, flooring, and signage.
Reconfiguration of the East and West Side Plaza stands brings the addition of 3,100 seats and improved sightlines. Plaza (100 Level) sideline seats are 10 feet closer to the playing field. The bowl has taken on a squared look instead of oval shape.
Two new premium ground level club lounges are located under the east and west side Plaza (100 Level) stands. Premium ticketed patrons enjoy private, direct access into premium lounges from the Superdome garages.
Each premium lounge is approx. 7,600 square feet and features flat-screen televisions, granite counter tops and full-service bars. The two lounges combined can accommodate and service 4,500 fans.
Ticketed club patrons may exit onto porch and directly proceed to their upgraded leather seats equipped with cup-holders.
More than 26,000 LED lights that are capable of reproducing every color of the rainbow on all 96 concave aluminum panels of the Superdome were installed, along with 983 LED lights being installed at the top of the landing of the Grand Staircase.
Additional elevators have been added to the building, including two elevators which travel directly from the ground-level to the press box, eliminating the need to change elevators. The additional elevators will also allow for more dedicated elevator time for media only.