Superdome renovations begin with field removal
Now that the National Championship game is history, preliminary work for a $450 million Superdome transformation begins.
The work will be stretched out over the next four years and the dome is now closed for business for the next six months.
At the Superdome, it's out with the old, before it’s in with the new.
“We are clearing this for Broadmoor coming in for the renovations,” said Tom Gerace with Superdome operations.
The first order of business: removing the field on which the LSU Tigers made history Monday night.
By the end of this week, the artificial turf will be removed, to be sent to Lusher High School. But first, they have to pull out 440,000 pounds of rubber and sand infill.
"Come Monday, we will be looking at concrete, and cleaning that," said Gerace.
After the field is removed, heavy construction equipment will be brought in to begin a $450 million renovation. That will involve the removal of nearly two square miles of entry, and egress ramps underneath the dome's stands.
“It involves the east and west ramps, which will consist of the main ramps at G and C,” said Superdome Communications Director Mike Hoss, with ASM/LSED.
The removal of the massive ramps will pave the way for expanded concourses and concession areas, which are expected to be a big improvement for the movement of people and concession sales down there.
Hoss says there are no pre-determined phases. He says the work will be done, under a process called 'C-mar', which will involve the architect and contractor working together to do the work whenever possible, given the demands of dome event schedules.
“If the Saints are on a two-week road trip in an open week, and there’s stuff that can get done, it will get done,” said Hoss.
He says the work will also see big improvements in the main Superdome entryways, with possible ground floor entryways, and new, more efficient escalators. But, he says work to keep the dome up to speed with other stadiums won’t occur overnight.
"You'll see signs, cardboard walls, pardon our progress," said Hoss.
In a building that still holds some of the biggest competitions in the world, he says the goal is to keep the Superdome competitive.
The next major event to be held in the Superdome will be the Essence Fest in July. Dome officials hope to have all the renovations completed, by the next New Orleans Super Bowl in 2024.