The big game is in Dallas this year, but New Orleans is already preparing for the return of the Super Bowl in 2013 with a major overhaul of the Louisiana Superdome. [http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2011/01/final_phase_of_superdome_facel.html].
A five-month remodeling project—the last phase of an $85 million makeover—began last week. It will change the geometry of the lower seating area, add seats, and install many modern amenities. Opened in 1975, the Superdome was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After that disaster, the building was repaired and upgraded but this phase of the remodeling project will make more significant changes.
Current work [http://superdome.com/site.php?pageID=45] includes the reconfiguration of the lower bowl area from an oval to a rectangle and the addition of 3,500 seats. The project will also build more concession stands, a new club area with 4,500 larger leather seats, expansion of a concourse from 18 ft. to 60 ft., three new elevators, and widened gate access to make entering and exiting go more smoothly.
While the city looks forward to the 2013 Super Bowl, hoping for participation by the hometown Saints, the building will host two big events in 2012: the BCS Championship game, and the men’s NCAA Final Four. Superdome officials believe visitors will be wowed by the enhanced amenities.