The New Orleans Saints' stadium naming rights deal with Mercedes-Benz expires in July. The Superdome's new name is not official, but the franchise is reportedly "close to signing a groundbreaking deal" for future seasons. The team will reportedly sign a naming-rights deal with Caesars.
According to The Athletic, Saints owner Gayle Benson and team executives recently traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to meet with representatives of Caesars. Sources told the outlet that the parties worked toward finalizing the deal, which will reportedly pay the club $10 million annually for the next 20 years. The expiring deal with Mercedes-Benz began in 2011 with a 10-year deal reported to be worth between $50 to 60 million.
While Mercedes-Benz Superdome has been the name of the stadium for a decade, the automaker decided not to renew its agreement. The company previously signed a naming rights agreement with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. The new stadium would be known as Mercedes-Benz Stadium for 27 years as part of a $324 million deal.
"Mercedes-Benz is currently under contract until July of this year as the naming rights partner," said Greg Bensel, the senior vice president of communications for the Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, per The Athletic. "We do not have anything official to report as there is not a signed deal with any company at this time. We continue to have conversations with numerous interested companies."
The option to have a casino sponsor a stadium became possible in 2018 when the Supreme Court overturned national sports gambling restrictions. Sports leagues began moving into the space at varying speeds. The NFL has been talking to Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings about league-wide gambling sponsorships, but these talks are ongoing.
Along with the new name, the Superdome will also undergo extended renovations. The $450 million project, which began in January 2020, will provide several upgrades. The list includes new corner entry lobbies and field-level box suites, expanded concourses, a new commissary with an upgraded kitchen, improved vertical transportation, and standing-room-only viewing decks. The visiting teams will also enjoy a brand-new locker room. The Athletic reports that all of the renovations should be complete prior to the 2024 NFL season.
With the renovations taking place, the Superdome will serve as the host site of several prominent events. The 2022 NCAA Men's Final Four will take place at the Louisiana stadium, as will a 2024 College Football Playoff semifinal game. The Superdome will also host the 2025 Super Bowl after the renovations are complete, likely bearing the Caesars' name.