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Saints, Superdome commission at odds over renovation payments

Chris Graythen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The state commission that oversees the Superdome and the New Orleans Saints are at odds over the club's contribution to the costs of renovations scheduled for completion before the stadium hosts the next Super Bowl.

Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) board members were informed by staff at a board meeting Wednesday that the Saints have fallen $11.5 million behind on their share of payments toward the renovations since making their last installment in December.

Team executives, however, said later that the club has been withholding payment since December because of the commission's failure to provide requested documentation.

“We have reached out to the LSED on numerous occasions,” the Saints said in a written statement provided by Greg Bensel, the club's senior vice president of communications, broadcasting and community and government relations.

“When the satisfactory documentation is provided, a payment will immediately be authorized," the statement said. "Unfortunately, it was disappointing to hear the comments coming out of the LSED meeting today that the team is not acting in good faith, when, in fact, we feel the opposite is true.”

The amount of money at issue is small relative to the more than $530 million scope of the renovation project. Most major work has been completed, with less than $60 million in work remaining. The Saints have committed about $200 million toward Superdome renovations, the team statement said.

Much of the work — including overhauls of stadium entrances, concourses and kitchens; installation of soaring new escalators; and the replacement of older ramps with newer staircases and elevators — was completed before last season.

Remaining work is expected to be completed before the start of the 2024 NFL season, nearly six months before the nearly 50-year-old stadium hosts the Super Bowl on Feb. 9.

Last December, the Saints exercised an option to extend their lease at the Superdome through 2030.



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