One of the most amazing structures ever built, the Louisiana Superdome has been home to Tulane football since 1975.
The Superdome is truly a study in superlatives. Whether in regard to size, record attendances, or innovative firsts, the Superdome is still the preeminent domed facility in the world.
Rising 273 feet into the New Orleans Skyline, imposing as a gigantic spaceship, the Superdome is a monument to man's daring imagination, ingenuity, and intelligence.
It all began as a dream in the mind of one man, New Orleans businessman and Tulane alum Dave Dixon. He envisioned the Superdome as the means of securing a professional football franchise for the City.
After much discussion, planning, controversy and lobbying, a constitutional amendment put before the Louisiana Legislature to build the Superdome was passed in 1966 by the largest margin ever.
Construction began in August, 1971, and the Superdome officially opened its doors on August 3, 1975. The stadium itself covers 13 acres. The dome, reaching 27 stories at its peak, covers the world's largest steel-constructed room unobstructed by posts, encompassing 125 million cubic feet of space.
During the summer of 1996, the Superdome underwent more than $22 million in renovations. Included in the extensive revamping were additional Terrace Level amenities, Gate A and ticket office renovations, end-zone seating modifications, meeting room refurbishment, and improvements to access for disabled patrons. The awesome size and inspiring beauty of the Superdome are unsurpassed, but it is this magnificent facility's versatility that sets the Superdome so far above all other stadiums and arenas.
Home to the New Orleans Saints, the NOKIA Sugar Bowl Classic, Tulane University Green Wave Football, the Bayou Classic, the Gatorade Superdome Classic and the Winn-Dixie Showdown Baseball Tournament, the Superdome is recognized as a titan among sporting venues.
The Superdome has played host to the NFL Super Bowl Game more times than any other venue: five, including Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.
In addition to hosting sporting events, the Superdome excels in producing concerts, family shows, convention/trade shows, stage productions, exhibitions and nearly every type of event imaginable. In fact, non-sports activity accounts for 60 percent of the dates scheduled in the Superdome.
Big name talent is nothing new to the Superdome. Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Alabama, Bill Cosby, Frank Sinatra, Patti Labelle, Whitney Houston, Kenny Rogers, the Commodores, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, and Dolly Parton, as well as New Orleans' own Aaron Neville, Harry Connick, Jr., and Fats Domino are only a few of the mega-stars who have graced the Superdome's stage. The Rolling Stones drew a record-breaking crowd of 87,500 in 1981 making it the biggest indoor concert of all time, a record that still stands. The Superdome was selected as the site for Pope John Paul II's address to 80,000 school children in 1987.
The Superdome is connected by ramp to the New Orleans Centre Mall, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, and the Poydras Plaza Office Complex. An additional ramp connects the Superdome to the nearly completed New Orleans Sports Arena.
Movable stands, giant screen television and removable turf are just a few of the features that distinguish the Superdome, the largest "people place" in the history of mankind.
Thanks to SuperVision, the Superdome's revolutionary giant television screens, there is not a bad seat in the house. The color television system furnishes every fan with a bird's eye view of all the action as it happens inside the stadium. The two screens, measuring 28'7"x 36'3" each, provide spectators with a super close-up view of every event. The instant-replay feature allows spectators to savor the genius of their favorite icons, all from the comfort of their seats in the Superdome.
A concrete floor in the main arena forms the base layer upon which other surfaces are laid. Wooden courts for basketball, ice surfaces for family shows, concert stages, tons of dirt for truck and tractor pulls, and artificial turf (unofficially dubbed "Mardi Grass") are some of the surfaces that cover the concrete floor.
The Superdome, attracting many of the top events in the world, has realized an economic impact of $4.6 billion in its 20-plus years of operation-far exceeding all projections.
It is no wonder that Dean Gerald McLindon of Louisiana State University's School of Environmental Design said: "This is the most usable public building ever designed in the history of man."
Tulane moved its home games in 1975 after having played on campus at Tulane Stadium for 49 years.
Old Tulane Stadium sat in excess of 80,000 seats, was the largest steel constructed stadium in the world and once held the largest night crowd in the history of college football (82,566 for the 1966 Tulane-LSU game) and at least twice the largest crowds in the history of Southern football (83,224 for the 1958 Tulane-LSU game and 86,598 for the 1973 Tulane-LSU contest).
Of the eight Super Bowls that have been played in New Orleans, three were at Tulane Stadium (IV, VI and IX) and the last five have been in the Superdome (XII, XV, XX, XXIV and XXXI).