Caesars Entertainment, New Orleans Saints Sign Superdome Naming Rights Deal

Caesars Entertainment Logo

Caesars Entertainment and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints have inked a 20-year agreement that will give the Nevada-based gambling company the naming rights to the home of the Saints, the Superdome.

Aside from the naming rights, the two parties also plan to make joint investments that will use Caesars Entertainment’s leverage in the sporting and entertainment world in order to bring more world class events to the Superdome while also enhancing Championship Square as a venue.

The deal is the first explicit naming rights contract between an NFL team and a major casino operator as the league has steadily eased restrictions on gambling-related deals.

Investing Hundreds of Millions in NOLA

The terms of the deal were not made public although last week, the state budget committee pegged the overall value at $138M. The payment will go directly to the Saints as part of their 2009 contract with the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District or the Superdome Commission, which has oversight functions over the property.

The Superdome deal is the largest sponsorship deal ever entered into by Caesars Entertainment. With the planned $320M expansion of Harrah’s at the riverside end of Canal Street, which is set to break ground this month, Caesars Entertainment in investing hundreds of millions of dollars in New Orleans.

Mercedes to Focus in Atlanta

Caesars Entertainment thus replaces Mercedes Benz which was the first naming rights sponsor to the 51-year old Superdome. Mercedes Benz’s 10-year deal expired this month and the German automotive maker decided not to renew in NOLA in order to focus its investments in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mercedes Benz recently moved its North America headquarters to Atlanta and they also have the naming rights to the stadium of Atlanta’s NFL team in the Atlanta Falcons. The Mercedes deal reportedly gave the Saints around $5.5M to $6M annually. Meanwhile, the new deal with Caesars is worth $6.9M per annum for the franchise.

Superdome Renovation

The Caesars Entertainment deal will spare taxpayers money from being used in the maintenance and renovation of the Superdome over the duration of the contract. However, the state will still contribute $90M to the current $450M renovation that is currently underway.

The ongoing renovation is set to add a dozen new luxury field-level suites. Under the new sponsorship deal, Caesars will own one of those suites while it will upgrade the two 400-level suites it currently owns to a more premium mid-field location.

Governor John Bel Edwards Signs Louisiana Sports Betting Bill

Lousiana State Seal With Casino Background
Legal Sports betting is on its way to Louisiana after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bills 247 and 142 on Tuesday.

With both bills signed, all elements are now in order for Louisiana’s casinos to apply for legal sports betting licenses, build their own retail sportsbooks, and line up their partners to handle online and mobile sports betting.

Earlier this month, the Governor already signed House Bill 697 which set up the taxes and fees for legal Louisiana sports betting. 

Said Senate President Page Cortez:

“SB247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education.” 

The only state in the Region With Online Option

Once launched, Louisiana will be the only state in the region to have an online and mobile sports betting option. Casinos in the bordering states of Arkansas and Mississippi allow only face-to-face sports bets made at retail sports betting shops. Meanwhile, Texas neither has casinos of legal sports betting.

The online option was added to the Louisiana legislation after Cortez noted before the legislative session began last April that sports betting would raise significant income if bets were allowed online or using mobile devices. The Senate President cited an AP report that 85% of the total sports bets placed nationwide during the first two months of the year were via mobile or online option.

Tax Rates are Set

Louisiana’s current gaming license holders, including riverboat casinos and racinos, will be required to pay a $250,000 fee to apply for a sports betting license plus another $500,000 after the approval of an initial five-year license.

Each of the present 20 gaming license holders in the state will be allowed two skins for mobile betting. Online sports betting will be levied a 15% tax on net revenue while bets placed at brick and mortar sportsbooks will be required to pay a 10% tax to the state.

Targeting the Football Season

With the Governor’s signature in place, legislators are targeting the start of the football season for the Louisiana sports betting launch. The National Football League’s preseason begins on August 5th and the regular season start on September 9th. Louisiana is the home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

Aside from the Saints, Louisiana has other prominent sports teams like the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans and the NCAA’s Louisiana State University which has popular programs in both basketball and football. It is also home to the New Orleans Gold of the National Rugby League.