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Mercedes-Benz Superdome
File:Mercedes-Benz Superdome logo.svg
Former namesLouisiana Superdome (1975–2011)
Address1500 Sugar Bowl Drive
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
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Public transitTemplate:Rint Template:Rint Poydras Street Template:Rint Template:Rint New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal
OwnerLouisiana Stadium and Exposition District
OperatorSMG
CapacityAmerican football: 73,208 (expandable to 76,468)[1]
Basketball: 73,432
Baseball: 56,941
Record attendance78,133 (WrestleMania 34, April 8, 2018)
SurfaceMonsanto "Mardi Grass" turf (1975–2003)[2]
FieldTurf (2003–2006)
Sportexe Momentum Turf (2006–2009)
UBU Speed Series S5 (2010-2016)
Act Global UBU Speed S5-M Synthetic Turf (2017–2018)
Turf Nation S5 (2019-present)
Construction
Broke groundAugust 12, 1971
OpenedAugust 3, 1975
ReopenedSeptember 25, 2006
Construction costUS$134 million (Initial)
($547 million in 2018 dollars[3])

Renovations: US$193 million (2005–06 repairs)
($210 million in 2018 dollars[3])
ArchitectCurtis and Davis Associated[4]
Edward B. Silverstein & Associates[4]
Nolan, Norman & Nolan[4]
Structural engineerSverdrup & Parcel[4]
Thornton Tomasetti (2006 repairs)
General contractorHuber, Hunt, & Nichols/Blount Joint Venture[5]
Tenants
New Orleans Saints (NFL) (1975–2004, 2006–present)
Sugar Bowl (NCAA) (1975–2005, 2007–present)
Tulane Green Wave (NCAA) (1975–2004, 2006–2013)
New Orleans Jazz (NBA) (1975–1979)
New Orleans Pelicans (AA) (1977)
New Orleans Breakers (USFL) (1984)
New Orleans Night (AFL) (1991–1992)
New Orleans Bowl (NCAA) (2001–2004, 2006–present)
New Orleans VooDoo (AFL) (2013)
Script error

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, often referred to simply as the Superdome, is a domed sports and exhibition venue located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It primarily serves as the home venue for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL), the home stadium for the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Bowl in college football and the longtime rivalry football game of the SWAC Conference’s Southern University and Grambling State University, known as the Bayou Classic (held yearly, every Thanksgiving Weekend). It also houses their schools’ Battle of the Bands between The Southern University "The Human Jukebox" and Grambling State’s Tiger Marching Band.

Plans were drawn up in 1967 by the New Orleans modernist architectural firm of Curtis and Davis and the building opened as the Louisiana Superdome in 1975. Its steel frame covers a Script error expanse and the Script error dome is made of a lamellar multi-ringed frame and has a diameter of Script error, making it the largest fixed domed structure in the world.[1] It is adjacent to the Smoothie King Center.

Because of the building's size and location in one of the major tourist destinations of the United States, the Superdome routinely hosts major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, College Football Championship Game, and the Final Four in college basketball. The stadium was also the long-time home of the Tulane Green Wave football team of Tulane University until 2014 (when they returned on-campus at Yulman Stadium) and was the home venue of the New Orleans Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1975 until 1979.

The Superdome gained international attention of a different type in 2005 when it housed thousands of people seeking shelter from Hurricane Katrina. The building suffered extensive damage as a result of the storm, and was closed for many months afterward. It was eventually decided the building would be fully refurbished and reopened in time for the Saints' 2006 home opener on September 25.

On October 3, 2011, it was announced that German automaker Mercedes-Benz purchased naming rights to the stadium. The new name took effect on October 23, 2011.[2]

DescriptionEdit

The Superdome is located on Script error of land, including the former Girod Street Cemetery. The dome has an interior space of Script error, a height of Script error, a dome diameter of Script error, and a total floor area of Script error.

CapacityEdit

The Superdome has a listed football seating capacity of 76,468 (expanded) or 73,208 (not expanded) and a maximum basketball seating capacity of 73,432. However, published attendance figures from events such as the Super Bowl football game have exceeded 79,000. The basketball capacity does not reflect the NCAA's new policy on arranging the basketball court on the 50-yard line on the football field, per 2009 NCAA policy.[1] In 2011, 3,500 seats were added, increasing the Superdome's capacity to 76,468. The Superdome's capacity was 78,133 for WWE WrestleMania 34.[2] The actual capacity is 73,208 people.

The chronology of the capacity for football is as follows:

Years Capacity
1975–1978 74,452[3]
1979–1984 71,330[4]
1985–1986 71,647[5]
1987–1990 69,723[6]
1991–1994 69,065[7]
1995 70,852[8]
1996 64,992[9]
1997 69,420[10]
1998 69,028[11]
1999 70,054[12]
2000 64,900[13]
2001 70,020[14]
2002–2003 68,500[15]
2004–2005 64,900[16]
2006 68,354[17]
2007–2010 72,968[18]
2011–present 73,208 (expandable to 76,468)

SportsEdit

FootballEdit

File:The Dome New Orleans Man Trip.jpg

The Superdome's primary tenant is the NFL's New Orleans Saints. The team regularly draws capacity crowds.[20]

The NFL has hosted seven Super Bowls at the Superdome, most recently Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. The Superdome is scheduled to host its eighth Super Bowl in 2024.

The 1976 Pro Bowl was held at the Superdome on Monday, January 26, 1976. It was the NFL's 26th annual all-star game.[21]

Tulane University played their home games at the stadium from 1975 to 2013 (except 2005) before moving to on-campus Yulman Stadium.[22]

The BCS National Championship Game was played at the Superdome four times. The College Football Playoff semifinal game is played every three years in the stadium. Two other bowl games are also played there annually: the Sugar Bowl and New Orleans Bowl. The Superdome also hosts the Bayou Classic, a major regular-season game between two of the state's historically black colleges and universities, Grambling State and Southern.

In 2013, the Arena Football League New Orleans VooDoo played their last six home games of the season at the stadium. From 1991 to 1992, the New Orleans Night of the AFL played at the stadium.

The annual Louisiana Prep Classic state championship football games organized by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association have been held at the Superdome since 1981, except in 2005 following the extreme damage of Hurricane Katrina. The first state championship game in the stadium matched New Orleans Catholic League powers St. Augustine and Jesuit on December 15, 1978. The Purple Knights won their second Class AAAA title in four seasons by ousting the Blue Jays, 13–7, in front of over 42,000 fans.

Date Super Bowl Team (Visitor) Points Team (Home) Points Spectators
January 15, 1978 XII Dallas Cowboys 27 Denver Broncos 1076,400
January 25, 1981 XV Oakland Raiders 27 Philadelphia Eagles 1076,135
January 26, 1986 XX Chicago Bears 46 New England Patriots 1073,818
January 28, 1990 XXIV San Francisco 49ers 55 Denver Broncos 1072,919
January 26, 1997 XXXI New England Patriots 21 Green Bay Packers 3572,301
February 3, 2002 XXXVI St. Louis Rams 17 New England Patriots 2072,922
February 3, 2013 XLVII Baltimore Ravens 34 San Francisco 49ers 3171,024

Home field advantage
Since the Superdome's reopening in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the increased success of the New Orleans Saints, the Superdome has developed a reputation for having a very strong home field advantage. While all domed stadiums possess this quality to some degree, the Superdome is known to get extremely loud during games, especially during offensive drives by the visiting team.

During a pregame interview before the Minnesota Vikings' opening game of the 2010 NFL season against the Saints, Brett Favre, reflecting on the Vikings' loss to the Saints in the 2009–10 NFC Championship Game, said of the Superdome: "That was, by far, the most hostile environment I've ever been in. You couldn't hear anything." It was during that loss that some of the Vikings players elected to wear earplugs, including Favre. It was the first game of the season that they had chosen to do so.[23]

BaseballEdit

When the plaza level seats remained moveable, the capacity for baseball was 63,525 and the field size was as followed: 325 feet to both left field and right field, 365 feet to both left-center field and right-center field, 421 feet to center field, and 60 feet to the backstop. The bowl was reconfigured in a renovation from 2006–2011, which replaced the moveable seats with a pre-cast concrete deck and moved the seating closer to the field, creating 3,500 new seats in the lower bowl. This made the bowl more suitable for football, but less accommodating for baseball.[24]

The first baseball game in the Superdome was an exhibition between the Minnesota Twins and the Houston Astros on April 6, 1976.[25]

Superdome officials pursued negotiations with Oakland Athletics officials during the 1978–79 baseball off-season about moving the Athletics to the Superdome. The Athletics were unable to break their lease at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum and remained in Oakland.[26] Superdome officials met with the Pittsburgh Pirates in April 1981 about moving the club to New Orleans when the Pirates were unhappy with their lease at Three Rivers Stadium.[27]

Minor League Baseball
The American Association New Orleans Pelicans played at the Superdome during the 1977 season. The Pelicans' season attendance was 217,957 at the dome.[28]

Major League Baseball Exhibitions
The Minnesota Twins and the Houston Astros played an exhibition game on April 6, 1976.[25] The New York Yankees played exhibition games at the Superdome in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983. The Yankees hosted the Baltimore Orioles on March 15 and 16, 1980. 45,152 spectators watched the Yankees beat the Orioles 9–3 on March 15, 1980. The following day, 43,339 fans saw Floyd Rayford lead the Orioles to a 7–1 win over the Yankees.[29] In 1981, the Yankees played the New York Mets, Philadelphia Philles and Pittsburgh Pirates in the dome. In 1982, the Yankees played the Montreal Expos and Texas Rangers and late in 1982, the Yankees considered opening the 1983 regular season at the Superdome if Yankee Stadium would not be ready yet after renovations.[30] The 1983 New York Yankees also played the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays in the Superdome that year.[31] The Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals closed the 1984 spring training season with two games at the dome on March 31, 1984 and April 1, 1984.[32] In what was a preview of the 1989 World Series, the Oakland A's played the San Francisco Giants in two games on March 28–29, 1989.[33] In 1991, the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Oakland A's in two games on March 22–23, 1991. The A's also played the New York Mets in two contests on March 26–27, 1993. In 1994, the Boston Red Sox played the New York Yankees in two games on April 1–2, 1994. The last professional baseball games played in the Superdome occurred on April 3–4, 1999, when the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins played a two-game series dubbed the "New Orleans Major League Baseball Classic."[33]

Busch Challenge/Winn-Dixie Showdown
The Busch Challenge/Winn-Dixie Showdown was a college baseball tournament held in the Superdome from 1987 to 1999. LSU, Tulane and University of New Orleans played an in-state team and out-of-state teams from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas in the annual tournament. The in-state team was Louisiana-Lafayette. The out-of-state teams were Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Cal State Fullerton, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Houston, Lamar, Miami (FL), Mississippi State, NC State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oral Roberts, South Alabama, Southern California, Southern Mississippi, Texas A&M, UCLA.[34]

BasketballEdit

The NCAA has hosted the Men's Final Four at the Superdome five times in 1982, 1987, 1993, 2003, and 2012. The stadium hosted regional semifinals and finals in 1981 and 1990, as well as first- and second-round games in 1999 and 2001.

The NBA's New Orleans Jazz used the Superdome as their home court, from 1975 to 1979. In 1977, the Jazz set a then-record in attendance for an NBA game, with 35,077 watching the Jazz led by Pete "Pistol Pete" Maravich against the Philadelphia 76ers,[35] led by fellow future Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Tulane used the Superdome as its primary home court from its opening in 1975 through 1982. It played occasional games there in the 1990s against high-profile opponents before the opening of the New Orleans Arena (now the Smoothie King Center) in 1999.

In 1996, the stadium hosted the AAU Junior Olympics basketball competition.[36]

BoxingEdit

On October 14, 1975, the Dome hosted Muhammad Ali Appreciation Day. The Muhammad Temple of Islam 46 in New Orleans organized the activities, with Ali's appearance as the day's highlight. Speakers included Dr. Na'im Akbar, Wallace D. Muhammad and Louis Farrakhan.[37]

The Superdome hosted the September 15, 1978 fight some called the Ali rematch where Muhammad Ali won the world Heavyweight title for the third time by beating Leon Spinks in front of a crowd of 65,000. It was Ali's last professional win.

Leonard–Durán II, also known as the No Más Fight, took place on November 25, 1980 at the Louisiana Superdome. In the match, Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Roberto Durán to regain the WBC Welterweight Championship. The match gained its famous appellation in the end of the eighth round when Durán turned away from Leonard, towards the referee and quit by saying "No más" (Spanish for "No more").

On December 3, 1982, the Superdome hosted the Carnival of Champions. In the first of two co-main events, Wilfredo Gómez would defend his WBC world Jr Featherweight championship against WBC's world Bantamweight champion Lupe Pintor. In the second, Wilfred Benítez defended his WBC world Jr Middleweight championship against the former WBA Welterweight champion of the world Thomas Hearns.[38]

GymnasticsEdit

The USSR National Gymnastics Team performed for the first time in Louisiana in 1976. The Superdome event featured Olga Korbut, Nelli Kim, Nicolai Andrianov and Alexander Dityatin.

At the 1995 U.S. Gymnastics National Championships,[39] Dominique Moceanu became the youngest Women's All-Around National Champion in U.S. history at 13 years old, a record that still stands.[40] John Roethlisberger also won his fourth and final U.S. Men's All-Around National Championship.

In 1996, the stadium hosted the AAU Junior Olympics gymnastics competition.[41]

MotocrossEdit

The Superdome hosted an AMA Supercross Championship round from 1977 to 1980, 1998 to 2002, 2009 and 2012. On June 4, 1977, 40,000 fans watched Jimmy Weinert win the sixth of 12 races for a $250,000 purse. 20 million pounds of dirt were piled into the center of the Superdome for the event.[42]

Rugby UnionEdit

The Superdome was scheduled to host a rugby union match on August 1, 2015 between English Premiership team Saracens and New Zealand's Super Rugby team Crusaders.[43] The match was organized by RugbyLaw, organizers of the National Rugby Football League. The match was cancelled, however, as USA Rugby, the governing body of the sport in the United States, refused to approve the artificial turf playing surface.[44]

SoccerEdit

The first soccer match to be held in the Superdome, on September 5, 1976, pitted New Orleans local club teams, The Costa Rica Soccer Club and The Olympia Soccer Club. This match was immediately followed by the second soccer match to be held in the Superdome which pitted The New York Cosmos and the Dallas Tornado. The Brazilian star Pelé and Kyle Rote, Jr. led their respective teams. The USWNT played their Final Victory Tour game against China on December 16, 2015 in what was the final match for Abby Wambach. China won 1-0 with the attendance of 32,950, making it a record setting attendance for a soccer match in Louisiana. On October 19, 2017, the USWNT played an international friendly against the Korea Republic, defeating them 3-1. Alex Morgan scored in the 40th minute for the United States, tallying her 78th career goal.[45]

International Soccer MatchesEdit

Date Winning Team Result Losing Team Tournament Spectators
December 16, 2015 22x20px China PR1-0 Flag of the United States.svg.png United StatesU.S. Final Victory Tour 32,950
October 17, 2017 Flag of the United States.svg.png United States3-1 22x20px South KoreaInternational Friendly 9,371

Professional wrestlingEdit

The Superdome was renowned for hosting many of Mid-South Wrestling's large, "Blow Off" events that were culminations of weeks or months of feuds and rivalries. Bill Watts was the promoter of this territory and gained much notoriety from promotion of his events in the Superdome.

April 19, 1986 saw Jim Crockett Promotions (in association with Bill Watts' UWF and All Japan Pro Wrestling) host the first of three annual Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournaments. 24 teams competed in a single day show with an afternoon 1st rounds and finals in the evening. The tournament final saw The Road Warriors prevail over Magnum T.A. and Ron Garvin. Besides tag team tournament the Superdome attendance of 13,000 saw NWA World Champion Ric Flair retain the title via disqualification from Dusty Rhodes and Mid-South North American Champion Hacksaw Jim Duggan beat Buzz Sawyer.

World Championship Wrestling held its sixth Clash of the Champions on April 2, 1989. The event saw Ricky Steamboat defeat Ric Flair in a two out of three falls match 2–1 to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Clash VI was held on the same day as WrestleMania V and on free TV in an attempt to hurt the PPV rating.

WWE WrestleMania XXXEdit

The 30th annual WrestleMania pay-per-view event, WrestleMania XXX, was held at the Superdome on April 6, 2014. This was the first time WWE held its annual event in New Orleans. At the event, The Undertaker's WrestleMania winning streak was ended by Brock Lesnar in front of 75,167 in attendance. Daniel Bryan won two matches. The first match was won against Triple H for a spot in the Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which he went on to win later in the evening against Randy Orton and Batista. Also the WWE Divas Championship was defended for the very first time at WrestleMania with the champion AJ Lee retaining her title.[46]

<div class="thumb tnone" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right:auto; width:99%; max-width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px;">

Magnify-clip.png
A panorama shot of WrestleMania XXX (pre-show) within the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
</div>

WWE WrestleMania 34Edit

The 34th annual WrestleMania pay-per-view event, WrestleMania 34, returned to the Superdome on April 8, 2018. At the event, Charlotte Flair defeated the 2018 Women's Royal Rumble winner Asuka, ending her 2-year undefeated streak as well as retaining the SmackDown Women's Championship, Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns to retain the Universal Championship in the main event, also AJ Styles defeated the 2018 Men's Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship which was also promoted as the main event. In the event, former UFC star Ronda Rousey made her WWE debut in a mixed tag team match with her partner Kurt Angle to defeat Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Daniel Bryan returned to in-ring action for the first time in nearly 3 years, when he teamed with Shane McMahon to defeat Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. It also featured the return of The Undertaker since his previous loss at WrestleMania 33, who defeated John Cena in an impromptu match lasting under three minutes. The show took place in front of 78,133 people.

TennisEdit

The New Orleans Sun Belt Nets were a charter franchise of World TeamTennis (WTT). The Nets played in the Superdome during the 1978 season.

WrestlingEdit

In 1996, the stadium hosted the AAU Junior Olympics wrestling competition.[1] In February 1997, the Dome hosted the Louisiana High School Athletic Association state wrestling championships.

Special eventsEdit

The Superdome held its official dedication ceremonies on August 3, 1975. Jazz musicians Al Hirt and Pete Fountain played for the event.

EntertainmentEdit

Between August 28 and September 14, 1975, the Superdome continued to celebrate its grand opening, with appearances by Bob Hope, Chayl Jhuren, Telly Savalas, Dorothy Lamour, Karen Valentine, and Raquel Welch. The Allman Brothers, the Marshall Tucker band, Wet Willie, the Charlie Daniels band, the O'Jays, the Isley Brothers, the Temptations, Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds, and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus also performed.[2]

On October 3, 1975, June Carter, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter performed in the Dome. Fans included then Governor Edwin Edwards, wife Elaine, children Anna, Victoria, Steven and David, and Edwards' grandchildren.[3]

The Superdome's 1977 New Year's Eve celebration opened with The Emotions and Deniece Williams, followed by Earth, Wind and Fire.

On May 29, 1977, the First Annual Superdome KOOL Jazz Spectacular featured Aretha Franklin, Al Green, The Spinners and The Mighty Clouds of Joy. Jimmie "J.J." Walker from the TV series Good Times was the guest M.C.

The Superdome hosted Jimmy Buffett (born in MS) in '76, Willie Nelson in '77, The Commodores in '78, Fats Domino (from New Orleans) in '78, Kenny Rogers (from Houston) in '79, Hank Williams Jr. (from Louisiana) in '81, and Lil Wayne (from New Orleans) in 2018.

Governor Edwin Edwards held his third inaugural ball at the Superdome March 12, 1984. Headline acts included Doug Kershaw and Susan Anton.

Because of a booking mixup, the Jets performed a full set to an empty Superdome in the summer of 1987.[4]

The annual Essence Music Festival has been held in the Superdome every year since 1995 except for 2006, when it was held in Houston, Texas due to Hurricane Katrina repairs.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
July 13, 1978 The Rolling Stones Van Halen
Doobie Brothers
US Tour 1978
December 5, 1981 The Rolling Stones George Thorogood
The Neville Brothers
American Tour 1981 87,500 / 87,500 $1,531,250 Attendees filled the floor area, as well as the regular seating sections.[5]
February 14, 1983 Kiss Zebra Creatures of the Night Tour/10th Anniversary Tour
February 1, 1985 Prince Apollonia 6
Sheila E.
Purple Rain Tour
October 6, 1987 David Bowie Glass Spider Tour
November 27, 1987 Whitney Houston Kenny G Moment of Truth World Tour
October 18, 1988 George Michael Faith World Tour 24,000 / 30,000 $450,555
November 13, 1989 The Rolling Stones Living Colour Steel Wheels Tour 59,339 / 59,339 $1,682,220
July 8, 1990 Janet Jackson Chuckii Booker Rhythm Nation World Tour 1990
August 23, 1990 New Kids on the Block The Magic Summer Tour
August 29, 1992 Guns N' Roses
Metallica
Faith No More Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour 39,278 / 39,278 $1,080,145
April 24, 1993 Paul McCartney The New World Tour 38,971 / 41,211 $843,850
May 14, 1994 Pink Floyd The Division Bell Tour 41,475 / 41,475 $1,401,445
October 10, 1994 The Rolling Stones Bryan Adams Voodoo Lounge Tour 32,687 / 40,000 $1,464,250
July 9, 1996 Kiss The Melvins Alive/Worldwide Tour
November 21, 1997 U2 Third Eye Blind PopMart Tour 21,465 / 25,000 $911,528
October 28, 1998 Janet Jackson The Velvet Rope Tour
April 12, 1999 Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love World Tour 20,047 / 20,047 $1,153,562
June 23, 1999 Cher Cyndi Lauper
Wild Orchid
Do You Believe? 12,754 / 16,000 $712,529
February 26, 2000 Backstreet Boys Jungle Brothers
Willa
Into the Millennium Tour 54,365 / 56,211 $2,286,582
May 27, 2000 NSYNC P!nk
Sisqó
No Strings Attached Tour 32,516 / 32,516 $1,456,245
September 20, 2000 Britney Spears BBMak Oops!... I Did It Again Tour This concert was taped for a Fox TV special titled There's No Place Like Home.[6]
August 22, 2001 NSYNC Amanda PopOdyssey Tour This show was filmed and released on VHS and DVD.[7][8]
August 25, 2004 Usher Kanye West
Christina Milian
Truth Tour
July 2, 2005 Destiny's Child Destiny Fulfilled... and Lovin' It This concert was part of the Essence Music Festival[9]
July 7, 2007 Kelly Rowland This concert was part of the Essence Music Festival.[10][11]
July 4, 2008 Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad Tour This show was part of the 2008 Essence Music Festival.
July 3, 2010 Alicia Keys Robin Thicke
Melanie Fiona
Freedom Tour This concert was part of the Essence Music Festival [12]
August 3, 2012 Kenny Chesney
Tim McGraw
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Jake Owen
Brothers of the Sun Tour 37,916 / 40,876 $3,385,855
July 7, 2013 Beyoncé The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 38,441 / 38,441 $5,766,150 This concert was a part of the Essence Music Festival.[13][14]
July 20, 2014 Beyoncé
Jay-Z
On the Run Tour 42,374 / 42,374 $5,206,490
September 25, 2014 One Direction 5 Seconds of Summer Where We Are Tour 50,349 / 50,349 $4,258,450
July 2, 2015 Kevin Hart What Now? Tour
July 31, 2016 Guns N' Roses The Cult Not In This Lifetime... Tour 32,894 / 40,215 $3,447,362
September 24, 2016 Beyoncé DJ Khaled The Formation World Tour 46,474 / 46,474 $5,349,960 Beyoncé was introduced to the stage by New Orleans native and "Formation" rapper Big Freedia.[15]
May 27, 2017 Miranda Lambert Highway Vagabond Tour This concert was part of Bayou Country Superfest.
September 14, 2017 U2 Beck The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 34,536 / 34,536 $3,873,405 [16]
September 13, 2018 Beyoncé
Jay-Z
Chloe X Halle and DJ Khaled On the Run II Tour 40,939 / 40,939 $5,437,147
September 22, 2018 Taylor Swift Camila Cabello
Charli XCX
Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour 53,172 / 53,172 $6,491,546 The highest grossing concert at the stadium to date.
October 31, 2018 Ed Sheeran Snow Patrol
Lauv
÷ Tour 42,295 / 42,295 $2,827,815

Other eventsEdit

The Seventh-day Adventist Church held its 54th General Conference session at the Superdome in June and July 1985.

Pope John Paul II addressed 80,000 children at the stadium in 1987.[17]

The Republican National Convention was held there in 1988, nominating then-Vice President George H. W. Bush for President and U.S. Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as Vice President.[17]

In June 1996, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Disney's 34th animated feature, had a gala world premiere at this stadium, with over 65,000 people attending the event.

In August 2001, the Bassmaster Classic XXXI final weigh-in was held in the stadium.

Stadium historyEdit

PlanningEdit

Sports visionary David Dixon (who decades later founded the United States Football League) conceived of the Superdome while attempting to convince the NFL to award a franchise to New Orleans. After hosting several exhibition games at Tulane Stadium during typical New Orleans summer thunderstorms, Dixon was told by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle that the NFL would never expand into New Orleans without a domed stadium. Dixon then won the support of the governor of Louisiana, John McKeithen. When they toured the Astrodome in Houston, Texas in 1966, McKeithen was quoted as saying, "I want one of these, only bigger", in reference to the Astrodome itself. Bonds were passed for construction of the Superdome on November 8, 1966, seven days after commissioner Pete Rozelle awarded New Orleans the 25th professional football franchise. The stadium was conceptualized to be a multifunctional stadium for football, baseball and basketball [with moveable field level stands that would be arranged specifically for each sport and areas with dirt (for the bases and pitchers mound) covered with metal plates on the stadium floor (they were covered by the artificial turf during football games)] and there are also Meeting Rooms that could be rented for many different purposes. Dixon imagined the possibilities of staging simultaneous high school football games side-by-side and suggested that the synthetic surface be white.[18] Blount International of Montgomery, Alabama was chosen to build the stadium.[19]

As the dome was being constructed, various individuals developed eccentric models of the structure: one was of sugar, another consisted of pennies. The so-called "penny model" traveled to the Philadelphia Bicentennial '76 exhibition. New Orleanian Norman J. Kientz built the model with 2,697 pennies and donated it to the Superdome Board of Commissioners in April 1974.[20]

It was hoped the stadium would be ready in time for the 1972 NFL season, and the final cost of the facility would come in at $46 million. Instead, due to political delays, construction did not start until August 11, 1971, and was not finished until August 1975, seven months after Super Bowl IX was scheduled to be played in the stadium. Since the stadium was not finished in time for the Super Bowl, the game had to be moved to Tulane Stadium, and was played in cold and rainy conditions. Factoring in inflation, construction delays, and the increase in transportation costs caused by the 1973 oil crisis, the final price tag of the stadium skyrocketed to $165 million. Along with the state police, Elward Thomas Brady, Jr., a state representative from Terrebonne Parish and a New Orleans native, conducted an investigation into possible financial irregularities, but the Superdome went forward despite the obstacles.[21]

Early history (1975–2003)Edit

First Saints game
The New Orleans Saints opened the 1975 NFL season at the Superdome, losing 21–0 to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first regular-season game in the facility. Tulane Stadium, the original home of the Saints, was condemned for destruction on the day the Superdome opened.

First Super Bowl
The first Super Bowl played in the stadium was Super Bowl XII in January 1978, the first in prime time.

Original turf
The original artificial turf playing surface in the Superdome was produced and developed by Monsanto (which made the first artificial playing surface for sports, AstroTurf) specifically for the Superdome and was named "Mardi Grass."[22]
File:Superdome during National Lutheran Youth Gathering.jpeg
New turf installation
The Superdome replaced the first generation "Mardi Grass" surface to the next-generation FieldTurf surface midway through the 2003 football season on November 16.

Shelter of last resort during Hurricane Katrina Edit

Script error The Superdome was used as a "shelter of last resort" for those in New Orleans unable to evacuate from Hurricane Katrina when it struck on August 29, 2005. During the storm on August 29, 2005, a large section of the outer covering was peeled off by high winds. The photos of the damage, in which the concrete underneath was exposed, quickly became an iconic image of Hurricane Katrina. A few days later the dome was closed until September 25, 2006.

As of August 31, there had been three deaths in the Superdome: two elderly medical patients and a man who is believed to have committed suicide by jumping from the upper level seats. There were also unconfirmed reports of rape, vandalism, violent assaults, crack dealing/drug abuse, and gang activity inside the Superdome. After a National Guardsman was attacked and shot in the dark by an assailant, the National Guard inside the Superdome used barbed wire barricades to separate themselves from the other people in the dome.[5] On September 11, New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass reported there were "no confirmed reports of any type of sexual assault."[6]

Reopening after Katrina

File:Louisiana Superdome damage repair.jpg

The Superdome cost $185 million to repair and refurbish. To repair the Superdome, FEMA put up $115 million,[1] the state spent $13 million, the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District refinanced a bond package to secure $41 million and the NFL contributed $15 million.

After being damaged from the flooding disaster, a new Sportexe MomentumTurf surface was installed for the 2006 season.

On Super Bowl XL Sunday (February 5, 2006), the NFL announced that the Saints would play their home opener on September 24, 2006 in the Superdome against the Atlanta Falcons. The game was later moved to Monday night, September 25.

The reopening of the dome was celebrated with festivities including a free outdoor concert by the Goo Goo Dolls before fans were allowed in, a pre-game performance by the rock bands U2 and Green Day performing a cover of The Skids' "The Saints Are Coming", and a coin toss conducted by former President George H. W. Bush. In front of ESPN's largest-ever audience at that time, the Saints won the game 23–3 with 70,003 in attendance and went on to a successful season reaching their first ever NFC Championship Game.

The first bowl game played in the Superdome after Katrina was the New Orleans Bowl won by the Troy Trojans 41–17 over the Rice Owls.

2008–present Edit

Further renovations

File:Superdome Renovations.jpg
File:Mercedes-Benz Superdome Poydras bike.JPG

In 2008, new windows were installed to bring natural light into the building. Later that year, the roof-facing of the Superdome was also remodeled, restoring the roof with a solid white hue. Between 2009 and 2010, the entire outer layer of the stadium, more than Script error of aluminum siding, was replaced with new aluminum panels and insulation, returning the building to its original champagne bronze colored exterior. An innovative barrier system for drainage was also added, allowing the dome to resemble its original facade.

In addition, escalators were added to the outside of the club rooms. Each suite includes modernized rooms with raised ceilings, leather sofas, and flat-screen TVs, as well as glass brushed aluminum and wood-grain furnishings. A new $600,000 point-of-sale system was also installed, allowing fans to purchase concessions with credit cards throughout the stadium for the first time.

New turf installation Edit

During the summer of 2010 the Superdome installed Script error of the UBU Speed S5-M synthetic turf system, an Act Global brand. In 2017 Act Global installed a new turf in time for the NFL Season. The Superdome has, as of 2017, the largest continuous synthetic turf system in the NFL.

Renovations Edit

Beginning in 2011, demolition and new construction began to the lower bowl of the stadium, reconfiguring it to increase seating by 3,500, widening the plaza concourse, building two bunker club lounges and adding additional concession stands. Crews tore down the temporary stairs that lead from Champions Square to the Dome, and replaced them with permanent steps. Installation of express elevators that take coaches and media from the ground level of the stadium to the press box were also completed. New Script error bunker lounges on each side of the stadium were built. The lounges are equipped with flat-screen TVs, granite counter tops and full-service bars. These state-of-the-art lounges can serve 4,500 fans, whose old plaza seats were upgraded to premium tickets, giving those fans leather chairs with cup-holders. The plaza level was extended, closing in space between the concourse and plaza seating, adding new restrooms and concession areas. The renovations also ended the stadium's ability to convert to a baseball configuration.[1] The renovations were completed in late June 2011 in time for the Essence Music Festival.

Naming rights Edit

The Superdome had not taken on corporate naming rights until Mercedes-Benz USA acquired the rights in 2011. Though the stadium is owned by the state of Louisiana, the New Orleans Saints' lease gives the team the authority to sell the rights.[2] Saints owner Tom Benson also owns Mercedes-Benz dealerships in New Orleans and San Antonio.[3] At that time, it was the third stadium that has naming rights from Mercedes-Benz (and first in the United States), after the Mercedes-Benz Arena, the stadium of Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.[citation needed]

Despite Mercedes-Benz acquiring the naming rights for the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium in 2015, the naming rights contract for the Superdome will remain in place until 2021.[4] Atlanta's stadium opened in 2017 and became the fifth stadium (and second in the NFL) to bear the Mercedes-Benz name.[citation needed]

Statue Edit

On July 27, 2012, a statue was unveiled at a plaza next to the Superdome. The work, titled Rebirth, depicts one of the most famous plays in Saints history—Steve Gleason's block of a Michael Koenen punt that the Saints recovered for a touchdown early in the first quarter of the team's first post-Katrina game in the Superdome.[5]

Super Bowl XLVII power failure Edit

The Superdome hosted the Super Bowl XLVII football game on February 3, 2013. A partial power failure halted game play for about 34 minutes in the third quarter between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. It caused CBS, who was broadcasting the game, to lose some of its cameras as well as voiceovers by the commentators. At no point did the game go off the air, though the game had no audio for about two minutes. While the lights were coming back on, CBS reporters deployed around the stadium reported on the outage as a breaking news situation until power was restored enough for play to continue.

On February 8, 2013 it was reported that a relay device intended to prevent an electrical overload had caused the failure.[6] The device was located in an electrical vault owned and operated by Entergy, the electrical utility for the New Orleans area. That vault is approximately one quarter mile away from the Superdome. A subsequent report from an independent auditor confirmed the relay device as the cause.[7] The Superdome's own power system was never compromised.

The Superdome was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.[8]

End zone scoreboards and new lighting Edit

During the 2016 off-season, the smaller videoboards formerly located along the end zone walls above the upper seating bowl were replaced with two large Panasonic high definition LED displays that stretch Script error wide and Script error tall that are much easier to see throughout the bowl.[1] Other upgrades included a complete upgrade to the Superdome's interior floodlighting system to an efficient LED system with programmable coloring, light show effects, and instant on-off; in normal mode the stadium will have a more vibrant and naturally pleasing system resembling natural daylight.[2][3]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

External linksEdit

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Events and tenants
Preceded by
Tulane Stadium
Giants Stadium, Tiger Stadium, and the Alamodome
Home of the New Orleans Saints
1975–2004
2006–present
Succeeded by
Giants Stadium, Tiger Stadium, and the Alamodome
current
Preceded by
Tulane Stadium
No permanent home in 2005
Home of the
Tulane Green Wave

1975–2004
2006–2013
Succeeded by
No permanent home in 2005
Yulman Stadium
Preceded by
Tulane Stadium
Georgia Dome
Home of the Sugar Bowl
1975–2005
2007–present
Succeeded by
Georgia Dome
incumbent
Preceded by
Levi's Stadium
Home of the
College Football Playoff National Championship

2020
Succeeded by
Hard Rock Stadium
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the New Orleans Night
1991–1992
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
Municipal Auditorium & Loyola Field House
Home of the New Orleans Jazz
1975–1979
Succeeded by
Salt Palace (as Utah Jazz)
Preceded by
Miami Orange Bowl
Host of the NFL Pro Bowl
1976
Succeeded by
The Kingdome
Preceded by
Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl
Stanford Stadium
Joe Robbie Stadium
Sun Devil Stadium
Raymond James Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium
State Farm Stadium
Host of the Super Bowl
XII 1978
XV 1981
XX 1986
XXIV 1990
XXXI 1997
XXXVI 2002
XLVII 2013
LVIII 2024
Succeeded by
Orange Bowl
Pontiac Silverdome
Rose Bowl
Tampa Stadium
Qualcomm Stadium
Qualcomm Stadium
MetLife Stadium
TBD
Preceded by
The Spectrum
Reunion Arena
H.H.H. Metrodome
Georgia Dome
Reliant Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium
Host of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Finals
1982
1987
1993
2003
2012
2022
Succeeded by
The Pit
Kemper Arena
Charlotte Coliseum
Alamodome
Georgia Dome
NRG Stadium
Preceded by
Sun Devil Stadium
Sun Devil Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium
Host of the BCS National Championship Game
2000
2004
2008
2012
Succeeded by
Pro Player Stadium
Pro Player Stadium
Dolphin Stadium
Sun Life Stadium
Preceded by
University of Phoenix Stadium
Lincoln Financial Field
Host of NFC Championship Game
2010
2019
Succeeded by
Soldier Field
TBD
Preceded by
MetLife Stadium
Camping World Stadium
Host of WrestleMania
2014 (XXX)
2018 (34)
Succeeded by
Levi's Stadium
MetLife Stadium

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