- Multiple media reports indicate that Caesars Entertainment will purchase the naming rights for the Louisiana Superdome.
- The stadium is currently known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome but they have declined to extend the deal.
- The current naming rights deal with Mercedes-Benz expires in July.
The stadium formerly known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and before that the Louisiana Superdome will very likely adopt a new moniker within a few months: the Caesars Superdome. Multiple media outlets are reporting that Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) has ‘agreed in principle’ to buy the naming rights to the home stadium of the NFL New Orleans Saints. Word is the deal is for 20 years with Caesars paying just under $11 million USD per.
The stadium naming rights have been held by Mercedes-Benz since 2011. In 2015, Mercedes-Benz signed a 27 year deal for naming rights to the new Atlanta NFL stadium though the amount of the deal was not made public. Several financial media sources put the value of the deal at $324 million USD. With that big price tag on Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the auto manufacturer decided not to renew the deal with the Saints for the Superdome naming rights.
Obviously the Saints are going to ‘no comment’ this until there is a done deal. Here’s what Greg Bensel, the Saints’ Senior Vice-President of Communications and Broadcasting, said today:
“Mercedes-Benz is currently under contract until July of this year as the naming rights partner. We do not have anything official to report as there is not a signed deal with any company at this time. We continue to have conversations with numerous interested companies.”
There’s not been a confirmation on what the name of the stadium would be should Caesars land the naming rights. Right now, the prevailing wisdom is that they’ll go with the simple ‘Caesars Superdome’. It would become the first NFL stadium sponsored by a gaming company.
In December, Caesars announced a $325 million renovation of the Harrah’s New Orleans property. When completed, the property will be rebranded as Caesars New Orleans. The preliminary plans for the transformation include:
- An all-new 340 room hotel tower above the existing casino valet porte cochère
- New culinary and hospitality offerings within the casino
- Additional development of the unoccupied area on the second floor of the casino
- Full exterior and interior architectural and design enhancements
Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, spoke of his company’s history in New Orleans at the time of the rebranding/renovation announcement:
“We are excited to introduce Caesars New Orleans to the city,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “As the only land-based gaming operator in the city, we take great pride in our 20-year history in New Orleans, and this reinvestment is a testament to our continued commitment.”
LaToya Cantrell, Mayor of New Orleans, spewed out some generic talking points. That bit about New Orleans being the ‘top cultural and entertainment destination city in the nation’ is pretty comical:
“We will continue to move this city forward and fuel our economic recovery, moving important projects that put people to work and entertain residents and visitors alike. We are excited that this expansion will mean hundreds of construction jobs during the project and hundreds more in sustainable and new jobs post-construction. The addition of Caesars New Orleans will strengthen our city’s position as the top cultural and entertainment destination city in the nation.”
Samir Mowad, General Manager of Harrah’s New Orleans, also chimed in on the announcement:
“As a native of New Orleans, I am so proud that we are working with local architects and designers to help enhance an already incredible destination. What was shared today is only the beginning of a transformation that will bring new energy, excitement, and fun to New Orleans.”
Surprisingly, there has been some local grumbling that branding the Superdome with the name of a casino company is somehow beneath the ‘dignity’ of New Orleans. Since nearly 30% of New Orleans residents live in poverty, the city has a top five highest murder rate and Louisiana is considered the most corrupt state in the country I think they’ve got bigger issues than the company that holds the naming rights to their NFL stadium. Plus the city is 7 feet below sea level with an infamously decrepit infrastructure and reeks of urine. New Orleans has done this all on their own to the point that Hustler Magazine could buy the naming rights to the Superdome and it wouldn’t damage the perception of the city any worse than it already is.