For a decade, the New Orleans Saints played their home games at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, but the auto manufacturer decided it was time to move on. There had been rumors that a potential suitor was in place to take over, with Caesars Entertainment expected to take over. Now that a Louisiana government committee has given its approval, it can now be reported that Caesars is about to become the first casino operator to ever secure naming rights to an NFL stadium. Welcome to the Caesars Superdome.
Caesars Opens the Wallet to Put its Name in Lights
The Louisiana Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget has agreed to allow Caesars to put its name on the Superdome. The operator will pay $138 million for the rights, with the agreement taking effect next month, just ahead of the new NFL season, and lasting for 20 years. State lawmakers still have to finalize the agreement when they sign off on the budget, but the approval by the committee is seen as an indication that there won’t be any issues.
Caesars, which became an official partner of the NFL two years ago, is behind several properties in Louisiana and continues to see it as prime real estate for its gambling future. Connecting with the Superdome will help support its goals and the company that manages the venue, ASM Global, said in a statement, “Caesars is an international brand with a major presence in Louisiana. The Caesars Superdome represents the state of Louisiana’s most prominent sporting and multi-purpose event facility, which is also recognized around the world. Caesars will promote this prominent facility in their marketing efforts and serve as a ‘brand ambassador’ for events hosted in New Orleans.”
A Caesars Superdome Sportsbook Coming?
It’s likely that a Caesars-branded sportsbook will arrive at the Superdome at some point in the future. However, for that to happen, the state has to advance its sports betting efforts. Everything was in place for a possible rollout before Mike Noel resigned as the chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) in June. That led to a delay in the introduction of rules and regulations for the sports betting market in the state since no one was leading the LGCB. However, as of last week, the situation has been corrected and a new chair has been tentatively appointed.
As had been expected, Ronnie Johns, a former Louisiana Senator, has been tapped by Governor John Bel Edwards to be the next chairman of the LGCB. Johns, a nine-year legislator, resigned last week, ostensibly to take on the new role. It was a smart move, as he would have been forced out of the Senate in two years because of term limits.
The odds of Louisiana being able to see sports betting in the state ahead of the NFL season, which starts in September, are slim. Johns has a lot of work to and no sportsbooks will be seen until the new rules and regulations are in place and approved. 55 of the state’s 64 parishes agreed to allow sports betting last November, but it’s likely that they won’t get in on the action until probably sometime next year.