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 that seats more than 73,000 people. 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.
News of a possible deal between the two sides was first reported in March by The Athletic.
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.
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 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 second floor that currently is vacant.
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, one of the top college football postseason games annually. 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 it again in 2025.
The Superdome will host the men’s NCAA Final Four for the sixth time next year. 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 PASPA was overturned, prohibited Hard Rock from promoting its gaming business.
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