The New Orleans Saints and Pelicans along with the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) and SMG have announced an agreement for a wide-range of renovations and enhancements to further modernize the in-stadium fan experience at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Smoothie King Center. The renovations and enhancements to Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Smoothie King Center, which at an estimated cost of $40 million, will be funded in large part by Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson's $25 million commitment to the project. SMG, the facilities operator, will contribute an additional $5 million for a total private commitment of $30 million geared specifically toward fan-facing improvements. The $30 million investment is anticipated to be supplemented by LSED funds and other sources.
The multi-million dollar project will focus on a wide range of fan-facing aspects including improved enhanced technology throughout both facilities, significant visual and audio upgrades, energy efficient renovations, suite and concession improvements as well as infrastructure improvements to both venues.
Highlighting the planned enhancements at the Smoothie King Center include a new center-hung HD video scoreboard which will be in place for the start of the 2015-16 NBA season. While the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will feature two state-of-the-art LED video boards that will be installed prior to the start of the 2016 NFL season.
"This is exciting news for both the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Smoothie King Center. They are both iconic and world-class facilities that continue to get better with age," said Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson. "The recent improvements to the Smoothie King Center and the constantly improving facilities at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are important to our fans. We listen to their input. We work hard each year to meet the needs of our fans. They deserve it and I think this announcement laying out the new plans will only further enhance the fans' experience in both buildings."
Additional upgrades planned for both venues will also include enhanced stadium bowl LED lighting, a renovated video control room, upgraded sound systems with enhanced audio capabilities and remodeling suites and concession stands areas. Furthermore, various upgrades will be made to the stadium and arena to enhance the energy efficiency of both buildings making each more environmentally conscious and eco-friendly.
"This is a very significant investment of private dollars into one of the state's most valuable assets," said LSED Chairman Ron Forman. "The investment level demonstrates the long-standing commitment to maintain these facilities as premier sports and entertainment venues, while allowing us to continue to remain competitive for hosting major marquee events. We are excited about the major investment into to landmark Louisiana facilities."
The renovations and enhancements to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Smoothie King Center will start immediately with completion of the project slated for the fall of 2016. However some renovations and enhancements in both venues will be enjoyed and noticeable to fans at the start and during the 2015 NFL and 2015-16 NBA seasons.