Louisiana Superdome

Louisiana Superdome

stadium_name = Louisiana Superdome
nickname = The Dome, Superdome, New Orleans Superdome

location = 1500 Poydras Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
broke_ground = August 11, 1971
opened = August 3, 1975
reopened = September 25, 2006
closed = September 3, 2005September 24, 2006
owner = Louisiana Stadium/Expo District, Glenn Menard (Manager)
operator = SMG
surface = AstroTurf (1975-2003)
FieldTurf (2003-present)
Concrete for Multipurpose events
construction_cost = $134 million (Initial)
$193 million (2005-06 repairs)
architect = Curtis and Davis
tenants = New Orleans Saints (NFL) (1975-2004, 2006-present)
Sugar Bowl (NCAA) (1975-2005; 2007-present)
Tulane Green Wave (NCAA) (1975-2004; 2006-present)
New Orleans Jazz (NBA) (1975-1979)
New Orleans Pelicans (American Association) (1977)
New Orleans Breakers (USFL) (1984)
New Orleans Night (AFL) (1991-1992)
BCS National Championship Game (NCAA) (2000, 2004, 2008)
Super Bowl (NFL) (1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002)
New Orleans Bowl (NCAA) (2001-2004, 2006-present)
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament (1982, 1987, 1993, 2003))
seating_capacity = 72,968 seats Football
55,675 seats Basketball
63,525 seats Baseball
The Louisiana Superdome, often informally referred to simply as the Superdome, The Dome or the New Orleans Superdome is a large, multi-purpose sports and exhibition facility located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was designed in 1967 by the New Orleans modernist architectural firm of Curtis and Davis, who also designed the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library (1956-58). The Superdome is the current home of the NFL's New Orleans Saints.

The Superdome is the largest "fixed" domed structure in the world, but it lost its title as the largest domed structure when the Georgia Dome in Atlanta was completed in 1992. (Both the Superdome and Georgia Dome were surpassed in size by London's Millennium Dome in 1999.) Nonetheless, its structural steel frame covers a thirteen-acre expanse. Its convert|273|ft|m|adj=on tall dome is made of a Lamella multi-ringed frame and has a diameter of convert|680|ft|m.

In 2005, the Superdome came to international attention when it housed thousands of people seeking shelter from Hurricane Katrina.


The Superdome has a listed maximum football seating capacity of 72,003 (expanded) or 69,703 (not expanded), a maximum basketball seating capacity of 55,675, and a maximum baseball capacity of 63,525; however, published attendance figures from events such as the Sugar Bowl football game have exceeded 79,000. A 1980s Rolling Stones concert attracted over 187,500 spectators.

tadium history

The brainchild of local sports visionary David Dixon, (who decades later founded the USFL), the idea for the Superdome was born while Dixon was 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 J. 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. Blount International of Montgomery, Alabama was chosen to build the stadium.

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 which are all too familiar in Louisiana, 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 energy crisis, the final price tag of the stadium skyrockted to $165 million.

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 was condemned on the day the Superdome opened, although the original concrete sections stood on the Tulane University campus until November 1979.

The Superdome's look was the work of local architect, Nathaniel "Buster" Curtis of Curtis & Davis. The contractor was Huber, Hunt & Nichols.

The Superdome is located on convert|52|acre|m2|0 of land, including the former Girod Street Cemetery. The dome has an interior space of convert|125000000|cuft|m3|-5, a height of convert|253|ft|m|1, a dome diameter of convert|680|ft|m|1, and a total floor area of convert|269000|sqft|m2|0.

The New Orleans Arena, a smaller indoor arena adjacent to the Louisiana Superdome, opened on October 19, 1999. It was designed by Arthur Q. Davis, whose former firm had designed the Superdome.

The Superdome converted to a Fieldturf artificial grass surface during the 2003 football season, with the first game on FieldTurf played on November 16, 2003. The FieldTurf replaced the AstroPlay surface. After being damaged in flooding from Hurricane Katrina, a new FieldTurf surface was installed for the 2006 football season.

Effect of Hurricane Katrina

The Superdome was used as a "shelter of last resort" for those in New Orleans unable to evacuate from Hurricane Katrina when it struck in late August 2005. A few days later the dome was closed until September 25, 2006. It housed about 30,000 people.

Reopening after Katrina

The Superdome cost $193 million to repair and refurbish. To repair the Superdome, FEMA put up $115 million [http://www.ktbs.com/news/local/4224476.html Dead link|date=August 2008] , the state spent $13 million, the Louisiana Stadium & Expedition District refinanced a bond package to secure $41 million and the NFL contributed $15 million.

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, 2006.

The dome reopened amid a wave of pomp and circumstance, including a free outdoor concert by the Goo Goo Dolls before fans were allowed in, a pregame 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 and went on to a successful season reaching the NFC Championship Game.

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

Major events

*New Orleans Saints -- New Orleans Saints home games.
*Green Wave Football -- Tulane University college football home games
*Super Bowl -- More Super Bowls have been played at the Louisiana Superdome than at any other sports facility: 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, and 2002.
*BCS National Championship Game -- The Louisiana Superdome rotates with three other locations as the host for the BCS National Championship Game. The Superdome hosted the BCS National Championship Game in 2000, 2004, and 2008. LSU's win in the 2008 BCS National Championship saw a Superdome record of 79,651, the largest crowd for a sporting event.
*Sugar Bowl -- The Superdome has been home to the Sugar Bowl since 1975.
*The Final Four -- the Superdome hosted the NCAA college basketball Final Fours in 1982, 1987, 1993, and 2003.
*The Bayou Classic -- a football game between two historically black universities, Grambling State and Southern University.
*New Orleans Bowl -- features the winner of the Sun Belt Conference (based in the Greater NOLA area) against a member of Conference USA
*"'Louisiana high school football championships
* The first National Wrestling Alliance Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tourmanent on April 19 1986.
*In addition to sporting events, the Superdome hosts other large events, notably music concerts by national acts, as well as trade shows and conventions. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Mid South Wrestling ran quarterly events in the Superdome.
*The 1988 Republican Party national convention was held in the Superdome. Pushing for the New Orleans site was Virginia Martinez, then the Louisiana National Committeewoman who lobbied for her adopted home city before the Executive Committee of the Republican National Convention. The convention nominated George Herbert Walker Bush of Texas for U.S. President and J. Danforth Quayle of Indiana for the vice presidency.
*Hurricane Katrina Evacuation


External links

* [http://www.superdome.com/ Official Louisiana Superdome website]
* [http://specialcollections.tulane.edu/SEAAHome.html Southeastern Architectural Archive, Tulane University]

succession box
title = Home of the
New Orleans Saints
years = 1975 – 2004 2006 – present
before = Tulane Stadium

Giants Stadium, Tiger Stadium, and the Alamodome
after = Giants Stadium, Tiger Stadium, and the Alamodome
Succession box
title = Home of the
Tulane Green Wave
years = 1975 – 2004 2006 – present
after = 6 different stadiums in 2005
before = Tulane Stadium
6 different stadiums in 2005
Succession box
title = Home of the
Sugar Bowl
years = 1975 – 2004
2006 – present
before = Tulane Stadium
Georgia Dome
after = Georgia Dome
Succession box
title = Home of the
New Orleans Night
years = 1991 – 1992
before = first arena
after = last arena
Succession box
title = Home of the
New Orleans Jazz
years = 1975 – 1979
before = Municipal Auditorium & Loyola Field House
after = Salt Palace
succession box
title = Host of the
NFL Pro Bowl
years = 1976
before = Miami Orange Bowl
after = The Kingdome
Succession box
title = Host of the
Super Bowl
years = XII 1978
XV 1981
XX 1986
XXIV 1990
XXXI 1997
XXXVI 2002
before = Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl
Stanford Stadium
Joe Robbie Stadium
Sun Devil Stadium
Raymond James Stadium
after = Orange Bowl
Pontiac Silverdome
Rose Bowl
Tampa Stadium
Qualcomm Stadium
Qualcomm Stadium
Succession box
title = Host of the
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
years = 1982
before = The Spectrum
Reunion Arena
H.H.H. Metrodome
Georgia Dome
after = The Pit
Kemper Arena
Charlotte Coliseum
Succession box
title = Host of the
BCS National Championship Game
years = 2008
before = University of Phoenix Stadium
after = Dolphin Stadium
Succession box
title = Host of the
Republican National Convention
years = 1988
before = Reunion Arena
after = Astrodome

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