December 10, 2023

Mercedes Benz buys naming rights for Superdome

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The home of the New Orleans Saints and site of six Super Bowls will be renamed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome under a deal with the German automaker announced Tuesday.

The deal will allow Mercedes-Benz USA to have its name associated with championships in college and pro football and men’s college basketball over the next 16 months — plus an NFL team that has gone from a doormat to Super Bowl winner. The stadium also hosted a Republican presidential convention and a visit from the pope, and once served as refuge for thousands of miserable victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The team holds authority to sell naming rights to the 73,000-seat, state-owned stadium through their lease, which runs through 2025.

A price for the 10-year naming-rights deal was not disclosed. Gov. Bobby Jindal said the agreement was between the Saints and Mercedes-Benz — and the automaker had asked not to have the price released to the public.

Mercedes-Benz also owns naming rights to arenas in Shanghai and in Stuttgart, Germany. The Superdome is the company’s first such venture in the United States.

Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College professor who studies sports economics, said the economy has made the sale of naming rights difficult lately.

“It’s been a very difficult time to sell naming rights,” Zimbalist said.

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