NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) – New Orleans’ iconic Superdome will soon have a new name.
When the current naming-rights deal with Mercedes-Benz ends in 2021, a source confirms to WDSU that the German-based car manufacturer will not continue its sponsorship with the Superdome.
Christopher Dodson with Forbes was the first to report the news.
Mercedes-Benz became the first naming-rights sponsor in Superdome history when they agreed to a 10-year deal worth between $50-$60 million in 2011.
Since that agreement, they’ve entered into a naming-rights partnership with Atlanta, and going forward, will focus their attention on Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.
The New Orleans Saints, the primary tenant in the Superdome, as well as state leaders are working on new sponsors and expect a deal to be completed when the agreement with Mercedes-Benz lapses.
Opened in 1975, the Superdome has hosted the NFL’s Super Bowl seven times. Five college football national champions have also been crowned in the dome.
The building in downtown New Orleans is also famous for hosting major events.
World Wrestling Entertainment has twice staged WrestleMania in the Superdome.
Muhammad Ali fought Leon Spinks in a heavyweight title boxing match in the dome.
In 1987, Pope John Paul II held mass in the dome and The Rolling Stones have played in the building four times since 1978.
The Superdome is currently undergoing a $450 million renovation.
The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, the government entity which oversees the property, will pay roughly $200 million of the $450 million renovation.
The Saints will pay about $160 million and the state about $90 million.
Construction is taking place during the NFL offseason and around major events like the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2022 and Essence Festival each year.
The new and improved Superdome will be completely finished before Super Bowl LVIII is played in the stadium in February of 2024.
The COVID-19 health crisis has not stopped or delayed construction on the Superdome.
Greg Bensel, Senior Vice President of Communications for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, issued the following statement regarding the name change:
“The Superdome is one of the top leading economic engines in our state and region. As we enter the first phase of this new renovation, the building has proven capable over the last few decades to be able to adapt and easily re-engineer itself to keep up and in most cases lead in the landscape of new, high tech stadiums that have come online. And if you couple that with the NFL-leading television ratings that the Saints deliver, then you can see real tangible and quantifiable return on investment for a potential naming rights partner.”
By: WDSU Digital Team