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Concert Venues :: Louisiana Superdome

Stats


Now Known As
Date Opened Aug. 3, 1975
Demolished
Venue Capacity 72,003
Venue URL http://www.superdome.com/
Venue Address 1500 Poydras Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112



Venue Information


The Louisiana Superdome, often informally referred to simply as the Superdome, The Dome or even the New Orleans Superdome is a large, multi-purpose sports and exhibition facility located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana. 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.)

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

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.

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 skyrocketed to $165 million.

The Superdome converted to an AstroPlay artificial grass surface during the 2003 football season, with the first game on AstroPlay played on November 16, 2003. The AstroPlay was later replaced with a FieldTurf surface.

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. This was the third time the dome had been used as a shelter; it was previously used in 1998 during Hurricane Georges and in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan.

On August 29, 2005, at about 9:00 AM EDT, reports from inside the Superdome were that part of the roof was "peeling off," daylight could be seen from inside the dome, and rain was pouring in. The Associated Press stated there were two holes, "each about 15 to 20 feet long and 4 to 5 feet wide", and that water was making its way in at elevator shafts and other small openings.

The Superdome cost $193 million to repair and refurbish. To repair the Superdome, FEMA put up $115 million, 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, the Saints won the game 23-3 and went on to a successful season reaching the NFC Championship Game.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Superdome



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