NEW ORLEANS, La. (BRPROUD, AP) – The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is no more.
The name change became official after a Thursday morning vote by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.
The home stadium for the New Orleans Saints is now called the Caesars Superdome.
Terms of the contract are still being finalized. But the deal is estimated to be worth about $138 million through 2041, according to information provided to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the House and Senate panel that approved the naming rights transfer without objection.
“We look forward to a long, 20-year relationship,” said Sen. Bodi White, the Baton Rouge Republican who chairs the budget committee.
The money will go to the Saints organization, as provided in state law as part of Louisiana’s contractual arrangement with the NFL team.
But the Saints intend to spend the cash on renovations and upkeep of the domed stadium, said Evan Holmes, with ASM Global, the company that manages the state-owned Superdome and other facilities in the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District.
The Superdome bore the Mercedes-Benz name and icon for the past decade, but that 2011 sponsorship expires July 31. Caesars wants to take over the naming rights starting in August.
The Saints said a formal announcement of the new sponsorship agreement will come when a final deal is struck with Caesars Entertainment. Photos of how the dome exterior and interiors will look with the new Caesars Superdome branding, signage and logo were provided to lawmakers.
Sen. Katrina Jackson, a Monroe Democrat, was not impressed. She said the font of the Caesars name — chosen by the company — looks “gaudy and cartoony.”
Holmes replied that such mock-ups are always a bit over the top.
“I think it will be a little more subtle than the renderings,” he told Jackson.
The first home game in the newly renamed stadium is on Sept. 12 versus the Green Bay Packers.