Saints reach naming-rights deal for Superdome

The Louisiana Superdome becomes the Mercedes-Benz Superdome today in a naming-right deal that will benefit the New Orleans Saints as well as the stare.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports an announcement will be made today. It means the state government will no longer have to make subsidies to the franchise. Per the report, the first $1 million of net revenue will go to the Saints and it will be an even split after that between the team and the state. The state’s share, though, will be in credits toward subsidy payments, not cash.

It’s a big move for the Saints and their building that lost its roof in Hurricane Katrina six years ago. The Saints become the 23rd team to have a naming rights deal for a stadium. Since the devastating storm, $336 million in improvements have been made to the stadium.

Mercedes-Benz, which previously has not been in the naming-right business, benefits because Super Bowl XLVII will be played at the Superdome. The building will also host the BCS Championship Game in January and the Final Four in April. So the timing was right for the Saints and the state to sell high.

The Saints searched for a long time for a partner. Now, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys will continue their search for a naming rights partner.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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