New Name for a Famous New Orleans Landmark
It is now official and soon the Louisiana Superdome will sport a new name. After many years of attempting to find a corporate entity to assume the naming rights to the world renowned stadium, Mercedes-Benz has come to terms with the New Orleans Saints and will proudly display their name on the proud edifice. It will now be known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
This appears to be a fine match since Mercedes is known as one of the finest lines of cars the world has to offer. On the other side of the coin we have the Superdome which is widely known as one of the finest buildings for sports, meetings and a wide variety of other events in existence today.
Hurricane Katrina and the Fate of the Superdome
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Dome, there was a brief discussion as to the fate of the building. Thankfully it was decided that since there was no structural damage, save for the hole in the roof, that the Dome could be restored. The fact is that it was not only brought to its former glory but actually improved to the point that there is not a finer arena to be found anywhere. This turned out to be the largest stadium reconstruction ever attempted in the United States.
A Boon for Louisiana Taxpayers and A Win for the City of New Orleans
The new naming deal will take a lot of pressure off the State of Louisiana as the revenues for the naming rights will offset the State’s monetary obligation to the Saints organization. Gov. Bobby Jindal declared that the deal will either significantly reduce or potentially eliminate the state’s annual payment to the Saints.
The recently completed $336 million renovation plus the rise in status of the New Orleans Saints since their Super Bowl Championship helped Mercedes-Benz to agree to sign on. This partnership makes the Saints the 23rd NFL team to ink a corporate sponsor for their home stadium. This will make New Orleans and the Superdome the only venue in America that will have the Mercedes-Benz name and logo on one of its buildings.
Great Moments in Superdome History
The Dome was built in 1975 and has already seen a good deal of history within its walls. Here are a few events that have added to its gravitas:
- A world record for an indoor concert was set in 1981 when 87,500 fans turned out to see the Rolling Stones in concert.
- Six Super Bowls have been contested here including Super Bowl XII (1978), XV (1981), XX (1986), XXIV (1990), XXXI (1997), XXXVI (2002), plus another on the horizon, XLVII in 2013.
- Four NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Fours (1982, 1987, 1993, 2003) and another coming in 2012.
- Five NCAA Basketball Division 1 Regionals (1981,1990,1999,2001 and 2011).
- Four NCAA Basketball First and Second Rounds (1999, 2001, 2007, and 2010).
- Two BCS College Football Championship Games hosted by the Sugar Bowl (2004, 2008).
There are many other memorable events that hold a place in history and happened right here in New Orleans in the Superdome.
- President George H. Bush was nominated for reelection at the 1988 Republican National Convention
- Pope John Paul II addressed 80,000 school children in 1987
- Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks before 65,000 in 1978
- Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Roberto Duran in the “No Mas” fight in 1980
- The Saints defeated the Falcons 23-3 in the first NFL game in the Dome after Hurricane Katrina on September 25, 2006
Coming Soon to the Dome
The newly renamed Mercedes-Benz Superdome certainly has an illustrious history. There is more history to be written considering what is on the horizon,
- The BCS Championship Game to be played on January 9, 2012 for the third time in the Dome
- The NCAA Men’s Final Four being played March 31 - April 2, 2012 for the fifth time in the Superdome
- And, of course, the Super Bowl (February 3, 2013)
With all of this going on I suppose that there is only one thing that needs to happen for me to be totally satisfied. That would be driving up to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in a brand new Mercedes automobile. Oh well, one can dream!