Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SMG-Managed Superdome and City of New Orleans are Awarded the 2013 Superbowl!

It's true! The Super Bowl is returning to New Orleans and the Louisiana Superdome 2013. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement today at a press conference during the owners’ meetings in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. And SMG couldn't be prouder or more pleased.

Super Bowl XLVII will be the 10th in New Orleans (tying it with Miami for the most Super Bowls) and the seventh in the Superdome, the most of any stadium.

SMG, the management company of the Superdome, worked closely with the other members of the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee in drafting the bid package. The city’s “team” included the New Orleans Saints, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, and other representatives of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.

The awarding of the city’s first Super Bowl since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 signifies New Orleans’ return as the prime destination for the biggest sports events. The city will host four major national championships in a 16-month span:

* Jan. 2012—College Football’s BCS Championship Game, Superdome
* Apr. 2012—NCAA Men’s Final Four, Superdome
* Feb. 2013—Super Bowl XLVII, Superdome
* Apr. 2013—NCAA Women’s Final Four, New Orleans Arena

Mix in big-time annual events like the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the State Farm Bayou Classic, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the State Farm Prep Classic (state high school football championships), Tulane Green Wave home football games, the Monster Jam and the Supercross, along with NCAA men’s basketball regional action in 2010 and 2011, and you have a mother lode of Mega-sports for area fans.

And even those who may not care about sports are rubbing their palms over the massive economic impact attracted by this array of events. The hordes of visiting fans and the widespread and nearly constant media exposure are vital to the city’s hospitality industry, the lifeline of our economy.

The announcement followed a press conference in the Superdome on Apr. 30, when Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Saints owner Tom Benson announced a new agreement for the Saints to play in the Superdome through 2025. The new pact included a commitment by the State to make an additional $85 million in upgrades to the Superdome, sustaining it’s’ place among the world’s greatest sports and entertainment venues.

During the biggest rebuilding project of a stadium in US history following Hurricane Katrina, the Superdome’s interior received a complete facelift and several new features were added, including a spectacular video-scoreboard-ribbon board system and windows in the Dome’s four big Club Rooms. Work continues on replacement of the aluminum outer skin and new escalators providing access to the Club level.

The new upgrades will be accomplished between the 2009 and 2010 season and the following summer. They will include:

* New Sideline Seating--Complete replacement of the Plaza Level sideline seats, moving them closer to the action, resulting in improved sightlines, 3,100 additional sideline seats and improved disabled seating.
* Expanded Plaza Concourse—The Dome’s Plaza Level concourse will be widened by 50 feet, providing better access, more food service areas, more specialty stands, more souvenir stands and more restrooms.
* New Club Suites—Located under both sides of the new Plaza Level stands, the suites will have beautiful furnishings, a full service bar, and will be convenient to the sideline seats and parking in the Dome garages.
* More 300 Level Suites—The press box will be moved to the Terrace Level, and new suites will be added to the existing ones on the 300 Level.
* Additional New Features—Additional upgrades will be made to two restaurants located on the Plaza Level and to the team store.

Winning the Super Bowl bid for 2013 also gives valuable impetus to the development of the area between the Superdome and the central business corridor. The Benson family has announced plans to purchase the 26-story Dominion Tower and a cooperative agreement with the State for development of a Plaza Festival area on the adjacent property.

The result will be revitalization of an area important to the city’s economy while enhancing the gameday experience for sports fans.