The new bunker clubs "will bring fans quickly and as close to the action as possible."
Work will begin Jan. 24 on the final phase of the Superdome's renovation project to add more seats, lounges and concession spaces to a building ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The five-month project will further spruce up the building that has undergone massive upgrades since the hurricane wrecked the 36-year-old venue in 2005. When construction begins, workers will make changes to the lower bowl of the stadium, reconfiguring it to increase seating by 3,500, widening the plaza concourse, building two bunker club lounges and adding additional concession stands.
The $85 million renovation was part of the 15-year lease extension between the Saints and the state. The project also includes tearing down the temporary stairs that lead from Champions Square to the Dome, replacing them with permanent steps. Workers also will complete the installation of express elevators that will taxi coaches and media from the ground level of the stadium to the press box.
"The ease and the convenience of the new bunker clubs is unique in that it will bring our fans quickly and as close to the action as possible," said Saints owner/executive Rita Benson LeBlanc. "Creating these additional club seats will allow us to remain competitive in attracting future Super Bowls, the premiere sporting event in the world."
The work is scheduled for completion by June 13, according to Dome officials.
Work could have begun sooner, but the crews had to wait until the Saints were eliminated from the postseason. The Saints lost 41-36 at Seattle on Jan. 8 in the wild-card round of the playoffs. With the exceptions of events in the stadium's super lounges, the construction will close the stadium for the next five months. But it will be open in time for the annual Essence Festival on Fourth of July weekend.