NEW ORELANS -- A giant excavator on Wednesday demolished metal risers that had supported the second-tier seating inside the Louisiana Superdome since the huge stadium's opening in 1975, part of the last phase of an $85 million renovation to spruce up the arena and add more concession stands and thousands of new seats.
Workers with huge saws and crowbars busily reduced the risers into piles of debris to be hauled away.
The Superdome will present a totally new look to those attending the 2012 BCS Championship game, the men's NCAA Final Four in 2012, and the Super Bowl in 2013, said Doug Thornton, vice president of SMG, the company that manages the Superdome.
"There is definitely going to be a wow-factor," Thornton said. "When you come in the door you are going to see a completely different Dome. The entire configuration on the lower bowl will be changed from an oval to a rectangle."