The Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Team Min Dawg
N 29° 57.034 W 090° 04.800
15R E 781828 N 3316895
Quick Description: The Lousiana Superdome located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Location: Louisiana, United States
Date Posted: 12/1/2006 6:49:50 PM
Waymark Code: WM10D2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member SUp3rFM & Cruella
Views: 140

Long Description:
The Superdome can trace its origins back to 1967, when the governor of Louisiana, John J. McKeithen, attended a baseball game at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. During the game, McKeithen was quoted as saying, "I want one of these, only bigger," in reference to the Astrodome itself. He would get his wish five years later.

Construction started on August 11, 1971 and was finished in November 1975. The New Orleans Saints opened the 1975 NFL season at the Superdome. Tulane Stadium, which had served as the Saint's first home and the city's primary stadium, was condemned on the day the Superdome opened.

The Superdome's futuristic look was the work of local architectural firm Curtis & Davis. The contractor was Huber, Hunt & Nichols.

The Superdome is located on 52 acres (210,000 m²) of land, including the former Girod Street Cemetery. The dome has an interior space of 125,000,000 ft³ (3,500,000 m³), a height of 253 feet (82.3 meters), a dome diameter of 680 feet (210 meters), and a total floor area of 269,000 ft² (25,000 m²).

Overall, the Louisiana Superdome has withstood the test of time; it has a surprisingly undated look to it, even as fixed domed stadium construction began to fade in the early 1990s and as some other domed stadiums closed.

The Superdome was used as a "shelter of last resort" for those in New Orleans unable to evacuate from Hurricane Katrina when it struck in late August 2005. This was the third time the dome had been used as a shelter; it was previously used in 1998 during Hurricane Georges and in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan. During Georges, the Superdome had no problems related to the weather, but the evacuees stole furniture and damaged property that resulted in thousands of dollars in losses, and there were difficulties supplying the more than 14,000 people living temporarily in the dome with necessities. About a thousand special-needs patients were housed there when Ivan hit the area.

Approximately 9,000 residents and 550 National Guardsmen rode out the night in the Superdome as Katrina came ashore. Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, Adjutant General for the Louisiana National Guard, said that the number of people taking shelter in the Superdome rose to around 15,000 to 20,000 as search and rescue teams brought more people to the Superdome from areas hit hard by the flooding. During Katrina, officials set up security checkpoints, and confiscated alcohol, weapons, and illicit drugs from those seeking refuge in the building.

The Superdome was built to withstand most catastrophes; the roof was ostensibly estimated to be able to withstand winds with speeds of up to 200 mph; flood waters could still possibly reach the second level 20 feet from the ground, making the structure an unreliable shelter in severe rain and wind. When looking into the origins of this 200 mph wind security in the Superdome, CNN reported that no engineering study had ever been completed on the amount of wind the structure can withstand; the building's engineering study was underway as Hurricane Katrina approached and was put on hold. It was used as an emergency shelter although it was neither designed nor tested for the task. However, the damage to the roof was not catastrophic, with just 2 relatively small holes and the ripping off of most of the easily replaceable white rubber membrane on the outer layer.

On August 29, 2005, at about 9:00 AM EDT, reports from inside the Superdome were that part of the roof was "peeling off," daylight could be seen from inside the dome, and rain was pouring in. The Associated Press stated there were two holes, "each about 15 to 20 feet long and 4 to 5 feet wide", and that water was making its way in at elevator shafts and other small openings.

That same morning of August 29, during an interview on ABC news, Governor Kathleen Blanco called the Superdome shelter strategy an "experiment," when asked if it could hold the storm or the flood.[citation needed]

Despite the planned use of the Superdome as an evacuation center, government officials at the local, state and federal level came under criticism for poor planning and preparation. On August 28, the Louisiana National Guard delivered three truckloads of water and seven truckloads of MREs (meals ready to eat), enough to supply 15,000 people for three days. There was no water purification equipment on site, no chemical toilets, no anti-biotics and no anti-diarrheals stored for a crisis. There were no designated medical staff at work in the evacuation center. There was no established sick bay within the Superdome, and there were very few cots available that hadn't been brought in by evacuees. The mayor of New Orleans had, in fact, stated that as a "refuge of last resort," only limited food, water, and supplies would be provided. Residents who evacuated to the Superdome were warned to bring their own supplies.

When the flooding began on August 30, the Superdome began to slowly fill with water, though it remained confined to the field level. Later that day, Governor Blanco ordered New Orleans completely evacuated. On August 31, it was announced that the Superdome refugees would move to the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas. With no power and no water, sanitary conditions with the Superdome had rapidly deteriorated. As of August 31, there had been three deaths in the Superdome: two elderly medical patients and a man who is believed to have committed suicide by jumping from the upper level seats. There were also unconfirmed reports of rape, vandalism, violent assaults, crack dealing/drug abuse, and gang activity inside the Superdome. On September 11, New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass reported there were "no confirmed reports of any type of sexual assault".

National Guardsmen accompanied by buses (475 total) and supply trucks arrived at the Superdome on September 1. The buses were sent to pick up the evacuees from the Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where more than 20,000 people had been crowded in similarly poor living conditions. 13,000 evacuees were taken to the Reliant Astrodome in Houston. By September 4, the last large group of refugees in the Superdome had been evacuated.

After the events surrounding Katrina, the Superdome was closed indefinitely and was not used during the 2005 football season. The New Orleans Saints played four of their scheduled home games at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, three at the Alamodome in San Antonio and one at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, during the 2005 NFL season. The team finished with a 3-13 record.

On October 21, 2005, Benson issued a statement saying that he has not made any decision about the future of the Saints. The San Antonio Express-News reported that sources close to the Saints' organization said that Benson planned to void his lease agreement with New Orleans by declaring the Superdome unusable. Ultimately, the Saints announced that they would be returning to New Orleans, with the first home game on September 25, 2006 against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football. Before that first game, the team announced it had sold out its entire home schedule to season ticket holders — a first in franchise history.

The Superdome cost $186 million to repair and refurbish, which was a cause for controversy among those who felt that it shouldn't receive priority over hospitals, schools and essential state buildings. To repair the Superdome, FEMA put up $115 million, the state spent $13 million, the Louisiana Stadium & Expedition District refinanced a bond package to secure $41 million and the NFL contributed $15 million.

On Super Bowl XL Sunday (February 5, 2006), the NFL announced that the Saints would play their home opener on September 24, 2006 in the Superdome against the Atlanta Falcons. The game was later moved to Monday night, September 25, 2006.

The dome reopened amid a wave of pomp and circumstance, including a pregame performance by the rock bands U2 and Green Day performing a cover of The Skids' "The Saints Are Coming", and a coin toss conducted by former President George H. W. Bush. In front of ESPN's largest-ever audience, the Saints won the game 23-3.
(All text for this waymark was copied from
It's the home of which team(s)?: New Orleans Saints

Which professional sports are played here?: American football

Capacity (number of seats): 69,700

Opening Date: 08/03/1975

Guided Tours: no

Venue's Website or Team's Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
1) Tell how was your visit. Were you at a game, which one? Have you just visited it by the outside, on a guided tour maybe? Are you a fan?

2) Pictures:
- They should be taken by YOU.
- No internet pictures are allowed.
- Upload one photo, at least. It would be great if you'd upload one of the venue and one with you on the photo.
- No need of photos with the GPSr.
- Extra credits for photos inside, with the teams playing.
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