Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Caesars $138M Superdome Naming Rights
Posted on: July 22, 2021, 11:44h.
Last updated on: July 23, 2021, 09:36h.
Lawmakers in Louisiana on Thursday approved a deal that gives Caesars Entertainment naming rights for 20 years to the Superdome in New Orleans.
Not long after the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget approved the deal at its meeting in Baton Rouge, workers began installing signage with the Las Vegas-based gaming company’s brandmarks inside the iconic stadium. Within the next month, the Caesars logo will be installed on the exterior of the dome’s roof.
Mercedes-Benz previously held the rights, with that 10-year agreement ending earlier this month.
According to documents presented at the committee meeting, the rights package is valued at $138 million and will run through the 2041 NFL season. The New Orleans Saints, which negotiated the deal with Caesars after conducting a global search, will retain 100 percent of the proceeds from the transaction.
In a statement after the committee meeting, Saints Senior Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel noted that the legislative approval “was a procedural step” that enables the team and Caesars to finalize it. At that time, the team will make a statement.
Specifics of the financial arrangement were not disclosed, as the deal included a confidentiality agreement on both sides. According to the handout, the Saints indicated revealing such terms could put them at a disadvantage with the other 31 NFL teams. However, the Saints did say the revenue from the naming rights deal would go back into renovations for the 46-year-old facility, which seats 73,000 people.
The Caesars Superdome represents the state of Louisiana’s most prominent sporting and multi-purpose event facility, which is also recognized around the world,” the information document detailing the agreement explained. “Caesars will promote this prominent facility in their marketing efforts and serve as a ‘brand ambassador’ for events hosted in New Orleans.”
Last year, Louisiana voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes approved a referendum last year to legalize sports betting in those jurisdictions. The documents did not include any information about possible sports betting lounges within the stadium or other gaming partnerships.
A message to Caesars officials was not returned on Thursday.
Caesars Betting Big on New Orleans
The naming rights deal for the Superdome comes as the largest gaming company in the US is planning to upgrade its casino in the popular tourist town.
Last December, company officials revealed plans for a $325 million overhaul of the city’s only land-based casino. It’s currently branded under the Harrah’s name. But with the renovations, the casino will be renamed Caesars New Orleans.
Caesars’ plans for the New Orleans casino include constructing a new 340-room hotel tower, adding new dining options, and developing part of the casino’s currently vacant second floor. Company leaders expect to complete the transformation by 2024.
Caesars operates currently operates four other casinos in Louisiana, but two of those properties have been sold.
Superdome Still Attracts Major Events
Besides the Saints games, the Superdome also serves as home to the Sugar Bowl, annually one of the top college football postseason games. College football’s BCS National Championship game was played there four times, and the College Football Playoff, the successor to the BCS, played its 2020 championship game there. It also has hosted seven Super Bowls and will host that event again in 2025.
The Superdome will host the men’s NCAA Final Four next year for the sixth time. State officials were told that affiliating with a gaming company will not hinder efforts to attract future college or other amateur sporting events.
With the Superdome deal, Caesars now joins Gila River Hotels and Casinos as a gaming company that holds naming rights for a sporting venue not connected to a casino property.
Five years ago, Hard Rock Entertainment secured the naming rights for the Miami Gardens, Fla., stadium that’s home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and college football’s Miami Hurricanes. However, that deal, which was consummated before the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned, prohibited Hard Rock from promoting its gaming business.
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