| About us | Privacy Policy | Contact us | Sitemap
Home News Forum Blog Standings Roster Players Schedule Depth Chart Stats Photos Videos
chicago-bears-vs-new-orleans-saints-tickets-nfl-soldier-field-2008 CHICAGO BEARS VS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS TICKETS NFL SOLDIER FIELD 2008...
All the latest New Orleans Saints Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.
ashlyn--bethany--and-i-in-afghanistan------new-orleans-saints-cheerleaders--- Ashlyn, Bethany, and I in Afghanistan ... New Orleans Saints cheerleaders :)...
All the latest New Orleans Saints Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.
kickback-nfl-new-orleans-saints-vs-carolina-panthers Kickback NFL New Orleans Saints Vs Carolina Panthers...
All the latest New Orleans Saints Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.

New Orleans Saints News

News » Superdome deal could be imminent

Superdome deal could be imminent

Superdome deal could be imminent
Officials with the Louisiana Sports and Exposition District said that the nearly yearlong negotiations for a long-term Superdome lease agreement between the state and the New Orleans Saints may soon be completed.

Doug Thornton, the regional vice president of SMG, the company that manages the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena on behalf of the state, said Wednesday before the LSED's monthly meeting that negotiations are progressing and a deal could be struck soon.

Thornton's latest public comments appeared to be more optimistic that a deal will be struck before NFL owners meet May 18-20 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to vote on the site of the 2013 Super Bowl.

"This is something that we have been working on now for over a year," Thornton said. "These deals are fairly complex. There are long-term commitments by both parties -- both the state and the Saints -- and it takes time to work through the details. At this point I would not say that there appear to be any major sticking points that remain. . . . I think we are in a position to where very soon we will be able to make some announcements. And it'll be very positive."

It's pivotal to the city's chances of hosting the Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 that a long-term lease is reached before the NFL meetings. New Orleans is vying with Phoenix and South Florida to host the game. If an agreement isn't in place by then, LSED and New Orleans Sports Foundation officials said they would pull the bid to host.

While officials from the state and Saints have said all along that negotiations were going well, Saints officials declined to comment for this story on the recent developments in talks or if a deal appeared imminent.

Under the current agreement, which expires after the 2010 season, the state will pay the team $23.5 million this year and next as part of the 10-year, $186.5 million contract signed in 2001.

But the LSED, the agency in charge of the Superdome that is heading discussions on behalf of the state, is hopeful that the sides can reach an agreement without a continuation of the large inducements.

The state likely can reduce its payments to the Saints by increasing potential revenue stream for the NFL franchise at the Superdome.

According to a plan by architect Ellerbe Becket, an additional 3,000 seats can be created in the lower bowl by changing the geometry of the Plaza level. The plan also calls for widening the Plaza concourse from 18 feet to 60 by closing in the space where the ramps are. The extra concourse area would expand restroom and concession capacity.

Also, the 300-level press box could be moved higher, allowing for more than a dozen suites to be built that would generate extra revenue. The Saints sell the 137 suites at the Superdome, which have been sold out since the 2006 season, for $90,000 to $150,000 per year.

Another possible revenue stream for the Saints could be the New Orleans Centre, the vacant shopping mall that sits adjacent to the stadium and that hasn't been open since Hurricane Katrina.

Although it allowed an option on the property to expire in December, the LSED remains interested in purchasing the New Orleans Centre and continues to explore how it might finance the deal.

Last year, the LSED discussed buying the property, which includes the Dominion Tower, a parking garage and a former mall, and converting the latter two pieces into a sports and entertainment district that would help lure major sporting events to the city.

Although the deal, which likely could have helped the Saints generate more revenue, fell through in December, the property could still be in play.

LSED MEETING: The LSED voted Wednesday to approve the installation of a new artificial playing surface at the Superdome.

The contract -- between SMG and Sportexe Construction Services Inc. for the installation and removal of the synthetic turf system for the upcoming NFL season -- is not to exceed $360,000. Payments are to be made from the LSED Capital Reserve Account, the LSED voted.

-- Also at the meeting, the LSED approved and ratified the March 10 agreement between SMG and Ellerbe Becket to produce an enhancement study for the possible expansion of the Alario Center. The base price is not to exceed $45,000 in fees, with out-of-pocket expenses limited to $8,500. The fees and expenses will be paid from the 2002 Capital Outlay Appropriation designated for Hornets-related capital improvements.

-- The LSED agreed to increase the contract between LSED and Core Construction Company for Hurricane Gustav-related repairs at Zephyr Stadium from $141,800 to $151,634.

-- SMG officials announced they are planning to place a bid for the 2014 WrestleMania event. WrestleMania XXV was held April 5 at Houston Reliant Stadium, and WrestleMania XXVI is slated to be held March 28, 2010, in Glendale, Ariz. The bid for the event, which generally draws crowds of more than 60,000, has to be submitted to World Wrestling Entertainment by April 29. New Orleans has never hosted a WrestleMania.

. . . . . . .

Nakia Hogan can be reached at nhogan@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3405.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 16, 2009

• Bush sets RB record with 200th catch (AP...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Saints' Payton determined to enforce dis...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Saints CB Porter placed on injured reser...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Saints CB Porter undergoes wrist surgery...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Monday Scrapbook, Week 5, #6: He's not g...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Correction: Vikings-Saints story (AP)...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Bush, Winfield awarded for dazzling perf...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Saints put Gramatica on IR, sign Mehlhaf...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Saints place K Gramatica on injured rese...
 Posted By you_re_saint
• Handful of Lions considered trade bait (...
 Posted By you_re_saint
Ted Ginn Jr. Name: Ted Ginn Jr.
Position: WR
Age: 23
Experience: 2 years
College: Ohio State
Copyright © Saintshome.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2018.