NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Saints fans with seats in the northeast and northwest corners of the Superdome will enjoy the new-and-improved game experience this season as part of the stadium’s $450 million renovation project.
Sleek finishes, modern lighting, and a new paint job will greet fans as they walk through wider concourses from the lower levels all the way to the terrace.
Crews have been taking out the stadium’s old concrete and façade since 2019, but still have work to do in the south side of the Superdome. Management says that by August 2024 all renovations will be complete.
“I asked our fans to have patience,” team president Dennis Lauscha said. “We are not done. We are only halfway through.”
Lauscha said the stadium’s staff of 3,000 employees have been going through training to make sure they can help guide guests through the Superdome’s changes and remind them which gates are open or closed.
Fans who sit in the newly renovated area will enjoy new club seating areas, concessions, improved American Disability Act seating, more bathroom stalls and less waiting in lines for goods or services.
The biggest change is the removal of ramps in the area, turning the space into wider open areas that include an elevator that takes fans up to the terrace in a little more than a minute. The ascent used to take fans around 10 minutes.
ASM Global executive vice president Doug Thornton says the project was aimed at changing lower levels and some of the more underserved areas of the stadium.
“We have been through multiple renovations over the years, particularly the ones after Katrina and the one after 2009-10. But this one is truly transformational,” Thornton said.
The changes come as other NFL teams opt for new billion-dollar stadiums. But management says the dome’s changes will put the nearly 50-year-old venue on par with newer ones.
Lauscha said 87 percent of poll respondents told the team, “‘We don’t want a new building. We want the Superdome.’ And, hopefully, we are able to give you the Superdome in a way that really modernizes the building.”
Management says the changes are intended to give fans their best-ever game experience, while also making sure fans are as safe as ever -- both inside and outside the Dome.
“We’ve talked to the city. They are very responsive,” Lauscha said. “They understand what our issues are. They know what are low-hanging fruit for theft. They say they will be responsive to that.”
After a rash of car break-ins and burglaries at remote parking lots during Saints and Pelicans games last season, Saints executives say the city and NOPD will step up security with more officers.
“What we asked for from the city is to have a sense of security, or coordination with other police forces, so that our fans will be safe and their property can be safe,” Lauscha said. “And they assured us they will do those types of things.”
Management says the city repaired nearby street lights, ensuring the area around the stadium is better lit, but that other city projects like street repairs are slow or non-existent.
“We are still pushing on the street repairs,” Thornton said. “There are a lot of conditions -- crumbling curbs -- that are trip hazards. Things like that, that are city responsibilities, that we are going to continue to request that they get repaired.”
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