The quest for the city of Los Angeles looking for an NFL franchise to relocate there will no longer consider the New Orleans Saints an option.
The New Orleans Saints and Mercedes-Benz announced Monday that they have reached a 10-year naming rights agreement that will turn the 36-year-old Louisiana Superdome into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Officials from the Saints, Mercedes-Benz and the state are expected to make the official announcement at a news conference Tuesday at the iconic stadium on Poydras Street where they’ll unveil plans for the new signage in and around the stadium, where the Mercedes-Benz name and logo will be featured prominently.
“This is a great, great partnership,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday. “I know for many years there have been attempts to sell this sponsorship, and I think the restructured deal and the new Superdome are two of the reasons this is actually happening. So I think this is great for the Saints and great for the state.”
The city of New Orleans will be able avoid paying the Saints any further direct inducements.
“This partnership proves that our deal with the state works,” Benson said. “We project that the state will no longer have any inducement obligations to the team and that is a benefit to everyone.”
Instead of large payments to the Saints, the state renovated the Dome while creating new revenue streams by adding concession stands, reconfiguring lower bowl seating to add 3,100 seats, putting in new luxury boxes, adding a retail store, building a pair of bunker club lounges and giving the Saints the opportunity to sell the naming rights.
While the state won’t actually reap any cash from the sale of the naming rights, the new revenue streams reduced the state’s financial obligation to the Saints based on a sliding scale.
And because it appears the Saints will reach their goal of at least $12.5 million in new revenue, the state is off the hook.