New Orleans Saints, Superdome game plan is multilayered effort for state
By Robert Travis Scott, The Times-Picayune
new_orleans_saints_victory_parade_superdome.JPGMichael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune archiveThe New Orleans Saints victory parade passes in front of the Superdome on Feb. 9.
While the New Orleans Saints have been focused on their historic Super Bowl season, state officials have been busy activating the many moving parts of an unusual new financial deal tying the club to the Superdome until at least 2025.
Team owner Tom Benson's new agreements with the state have cleared the lingering clouds of uncertainty about whether the team will remain a New Orleans franchise, a subject of grave concern after Hurricane Katrina.
Now comes the task of making the various new contracts work. A combination of a Dome upgrade, a state subsidy and a major downtown development project, the package soon will reshape the upper Poydras Street district that is still struggling to recover from Katrina. The multifaceted project is on schedule but must meet several challenges, and the long-term plan that is central to the vision of a revived sports and retail complex remains a concept only on paper until financing can be found.
"The big picture was to build a major sports center, to take those boarded-up properties and put them back to use again," said Ron Forman, chairman of the Superdome Commission. "It's a vision of the city going forward that's led by the Saints, Hornets and a sports district, and [..... READ FULL STORY HERE....]
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