After Hurricane Katrina, the cost in 2006 to repair and renovate was around $185 million, and FEMA put up the majority of that money. The reopening of the Dome was in September of that year, and at the beginning of 2011 addition construction and reconfiguration began to the interior. In total, $336 million in renovations have been done since the Hurricane and the improvements are definitely visible. Seating was increased by 3,500 and sight lines were improved, the plaza concourse was widened, 2 bunker club lounges were built, additional concession stands now exist, and the exterior plaza area outside Gate A and Gate C have been widened to help with traffic flow. One thing that actually wasn't significantly improved upon - the upper concourse level.
For this 2011-2012 season, a lot will be new inside The Louisiana Superdome, and we expect good things. One thing that probably hasn't changed - the noise level inside. It is know to get extremely loud inside and has developed a reputation for having a strong home field advantage. It may not be a bad idea to pack some ear plugs.
Food and Drink:
In addition to some newly added concessions, there is still the signature red beans and rice with sausage or the Creole Jambalaya. This year, healthier food options are available at just about every concession stand, with at least one "made over" classic stadium option - such as low-fat turkey dogs on whole wheat buns or blackened chicken sandwiches in addition to the fried variety. All in all however, a lot of fans are still unhappy with what they consider too little variety and low quality even after the recent changes.
As for beer, keep an eye out for local brew Abita.
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The Stadium and Neighborhood:
The largest fixed domed structure in the world, The Superdome is in downtown New Orleans where the I-10 and Pontchartrain Expressway meet. Near Tulane University, City Hall, and only a mile and a half from the famous French Quarter, it's easily accessible by car, public transportation, or foot. The area around City Hall is undergoing major transformation, with a big budget redevelopment project going on with the closed Hyatt Regency Hotel and the creation of a "sports entertainment zone" between the hotel and the Superdome.
In addition, work has begun on a streetcar line along Loyola from Canal Street to the Uninion Passenger Terminal nearby. Expect some major positive changes happening around the stadium. As it is though, your choices for pre or post game activities is vast. From wine bar to dive bar, upscale Southern cuisine to beignets in the French Quarter to Harrah's Casino, you're never too far from plenty of options. Be sure to check our "Before & After the Game" map for several great suggestions.
The Superdome and New Orleans Arena across the street have 7 parking garages and 2 surface lots for public parking, which can hold about 7,000 cars. They are all adjacent to the stadium and parking rates vary from event to event, although it's usually around $20 (cash only!) Since these spots do fill up rather quickly, you should check our exterior map for additional available parking lots, some which you can purchase directly though Parkwhiz. You can visit their Superdome page HERE or check our icons on the map which take you to those specific parking links.
Another option is parkatmyhouse.com and you can visit their Superdome page HERE.
If you don't mind walking a little ways, it is possible to find free street parking if you arrive early enough.
As for tailgating, there's not much of a scene since it's not allowed in Superdome lots.
A public transportation stop is located on Poydras Street across from Gate A so if you're coming from the French Quarter you can take the 16-Claiborne bus to S. Carrolton Ave via Poydras.
Other options if you're coming from different directions is the Canal Streetcar to Canal & LaSalle and walking about a half mile South, or the 15-Freret Bus to Canal Street via Loyola & Tulane and walking a half mile West. For more info visit www.norta.com.
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