The NFL’s New Orleans Saints will play at the Louisiana Superdome for 15 more years under a lease agreement between the state and the team.
The state of Louisiana has agreed to spend $85 million on renovations to the state-owned Superdome. It is hoped the pledge will generate revenue for the team and help lease office space from Saints owner Tom Benson. Benson will purchase the 26-story Dominion Tower and New Orleans Centre mall adjacent to the stadium that have both stood mostly empty since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“I’m putting my money where my mouth is,” Benson said. “When we get through, that’s going to be a brand-new building. The state’s going to take a big part of it and then we’re going to lease the rest of it.”
Republican Governor Bobby Jindal added in a news conference: “This new partnership results in a long-term lease agreement with the Saints, plus an innovative investment that will dramatically revitalize the Superdome area.”
He also said that the state will save “more than $280 million” over the next 17 years compared to the existing lease.
The agreement still needs to be approved by the state legislature.