The New Orleans Saints and Superdome officials that operate the stadium knew years ago that renovations would be necessary to modernize the facility as a competitive venue for the next few decades. All of the new recently built state-of-the-art NFL stadiums are full of the latest technology and the New Orleans Saints have kept their Superdome home up to date with the recent renovations. A recent media tour led by Saints Vice President of Marketing Jen Martindale gave the first glimpse into the progress being made on the $450 million project. The bills for the upgrades are being split by the Saints ($150 million), the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition ($210 million), and the State of Louisiana ($90 million).
Martindale and the rest of the media group still needed to don hard hats while on a tour of the Superdome but the 24-hour around-the-clock project is on schedule. Martindale laughed as she pointed out as we passed by one of the louder construction areas, “It may look like there is a lot to be done, but we feel great about it and we’ll be ready for our first preseason game.”
The most noticeable additions will be the 12 field-level luxury suites behind each endzone. The new layout will not affect the tunnel runout routine for the Saints but the visiting locker room will be moved. The renovations come with a very slight decrease in seating inventory but the Saints are working diligently to accommodate all affected season ticket holders. Martindale knows the Soul of the Saints can be found in those upper-level seats. Many of those families have held those same seats for longer than a decade and with a little patience, those seats will be better than ever.
“We will be doing some substantive renovations in the upper terrace levels as part of this multi-year process. (Upper deck ticket holders) will see enhancements to their concourse, enhancements to their concessions. They are going to see some of that space opened up to the bowl in a way that has not happened before so that will give them more opportunities and a closer feel to the field as well. We recognize the terrace is really the heart and soul of Saints nation in a lot of ways so we want to make sure their experience is just as great. We are just asking for a little bit of time as work through the multi-year project.”
“We are going to have a new kind of view deck in the terrace as well. Once that part of the project is complete I think their viewing experience is going to be great because they are going to have a choice to move from their seat into these more communal areas.”
Martindale explained, “The New Orleans Saints and everyone involved in the Superdome want to keep this venue as competitive as possible for the next 50 years. Not just for our own games, but for all the world-class events that come here and the reality is as the fan experience evolves, the Dome needs to evolve too.”
There will be new upper-level suites in all four corners along with communal viewing platforms. The North End club behind the new field-level suites will be completed this year while all upper-level club areas will be completed before the Super Bowl returns in 2024. Access to the upper levels will be easier with refreshed elevators, escalators, and two new stairways in each corner.
“When fans come back this year they are going to experience opened up corners, much more light, and an open concept going into the concourse itself. (There is) new premium seating, more ADA seating, and then as we move through the process over the next several years, there will be a lot more to report including the widening of the concourses, amenities, and concessions coming online,” Martindale said.
These improvements will help keep New Orleans in the rotation for the Super Bowl, Final Four, WWE Wrestlemania, and NCAA College Football Playoffs. Keeping the Superdome viable for big events is beneficial to everyone in the region. The Saints are looking to maintain that standard of customer satisfaction for the globally recognized venue.
The New Orleans Saints were recognized as having the best overall Safety and Security rating in the NFL last year. The NFL’s annual Voice of the Fan rankings resulted in the Saints having the highest overall score for Safety and Security in the NFL in 2020-2021 and the organization expects to maintain that standard of quality going forward. The rankings are issued by the NFL following fan surveying of every home game.
Each of the league’s 32 clubs are reviewed in multiple categories including Overall Safety & Security (ranked No. 1), Overall Arrival Communication (ranked No. 1) and Mobile Ticketing (ranked No. 1), as well as other key metrics.
“Culturally, health and safety is our first priority in everything we do,” said New Orleans Saints President Dennis Lauscha. “When we were faced with the unique challenges Covid-19 presented in April, we immediately went to work by seeking out the best health and safety experts available to help us establish the very best policies and procedures to keep people safe. We are proud that we were able to deliver for our fans and team.”
The construction crews are making progress and the New Orleans Saints are on schedule to open the season in the most bespoke-looking Superdome yet. The New Orleans Saints hope to deliver another winning season to their fans in their new-look Superdome. The running bet during the tour? Alvin Kamara will deliver the first touchdown to the field-level luxury suites while a louder, more open, and filled to capacity Superdome celebrates another Saints’ win.