record: the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Arena, both
managed by SMG, are located in downtown New Orleans. The superdome
holds the record for attendance at an indoor concert
cant miss the Louisiana Superdome. This multi-purpose indoor stadium,
which looks like a giant mushroom cap, is in the heart of downtown New
Orleans. The stadium plays host to major sporting events such as the
National Football League Super Bowl, concerts, trade shows and exhibitions.
It still holds the world record for an audience at an indoor concert
the 87,500-strong crowd at the 1981 Rolling Stones concert.
Superdome, with a height equivalent to 27 storeys, was completed in
1975 after four years construction work. The main arena, with
166,000 square feet of floor space, is the worlds largest steel-constructed
room without supporting columns.
stadium and its younger sister, the four-year-old New Orleans
Arena next door are important money-spinners for the city. Both
are publicly owned, but they are managed privately by SMG,
the worlds leading private company managing public assembly facilities.
Doug Thornton, SMGs
Regional General Manager, says in the past five years annual revenues
from the Superdome have risen from £8.9 million to £11.4
money has enabled two great sports teams, American footballs New
Orleans Saints, and basketballs New Orleans Hornets, to flourish
in the city.
One of the things that makes this facility unique and such a great
asset for the citys economy is the fact that you can host a football
match on a Sunday and then have a trade show the following week,
says Mr Thornton. If it was just a single-purpose sports facility,
we would lose out on other possibilities.
Superdome was originally managed by the state, but it operated at a
loss. SMG took over in 1977; it also manages several other public centres
in Louisiana, including the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing
Arts in New Orleans and the Riverside Centroplex in Baton Rouge.
joint-venture company, owned by the Hyatt Hotel chain and Aramark, one
of the worlds largest service companies, SMG operates 98 per cent
of the publicly owned exhibition space in North America that is managed
by private companies a total of more than 7.8 million square
feet. SMG also manages a number of public arenas around the world, from
Oslos Spektrum and Torontos National Trade Centre to the
Manchester Evening News Arena and the London Arena in Britain.
Mr Thornton says the main reason for the success of the Superdome
and its sister arena is simply the location. The city of New Orleans
is a great destination: its a real party town. People love coming
here; they love the French Quarter, the music, the food. It has a great
The Superdomes proximity to the citys hotel district
also makes it a great place for all the different types of event weve
held over the years, from the Super Bowls to the Papal visit.